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Coronavirus Kent: Gillingham's games against Fleetwood Town, MK Dons and Rotherham in League 1 called off as EFL suspend matches nationwide until April 3

The Football League has suspended all matches until at least April 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

League bosses met on Friday morning to discuss the escalating issues affecting clubs throughout the country.

KMTV report as sport across Kent is called off

Gillingham were due to host Fleetwood Town on Saturday in what manager Steve Evans had described as their biggest game of the season.

The Gills currently have nine games of the League 1 season remaining.

They were due to travel to MK Dons next weekend and were facing Rotherham United the week after, a game which had been moved to a Sunday for live Sky Sports coverage.

A statement from the EFL said: "The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.

"This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.

"The postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all academy and youth team fixtures.

"In addition, clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.

"Whilst the EFL Board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the Government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis.

"A further update on these plans will be given post an EFL Board Meeting next week.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak."

Football in this country has been hit by the virus in recent days, with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis testing positive for the virus early on this week.

Premier League sides Everton and Bournemouth have put their first-team squads in self-isolation after players showed symptoms.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has also tested positive and their match against Brighton was postponed before the latest announcement.

Gillingham were conducting ‘business as usual’ in the middle of the week, awaiting any updates from the government and the EFL.

The club conducted Saturday's pre-match press conference as usual on Friday morning.

On Thursday the Football League said they were expecting games to be played this weekend but the rapidly changing scene has forced them to change course.

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