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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Mid-season break from 2019-20 for the Premier League confirmed

The English Football Association announce that the two-week hiatus from action will take place in February, meaning busy Christmas schedule will remain untouched

Tottenham's Ben Davies in action with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a Premier League game in the 207/18 season. From 2019/20 the English top flight will have a two-week break in February. Carl Recine / Action Images via Reuters
Tottenham's Ben Davies in action with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a Premier League game in the 207/18 season. From 2019/20 the English top flight will have a two-week break in February. Carl Recine / Action Images via Reuters

The Football Association has announced a deal with the Premier League and English Football League to introduce a mid-season break in February from the 2019/20 season.

After years of deadlock on the issue, the FA and the leagues have finally found a compromise that should give players more rest without upsetting the broadcasters and sponsors too much.

To make room for the two-week break, the FA Cup's fifth-round ties will be played midweek and will be settled on the night, while a round of Premier League fixtures will be played over two weekends, with five games one weekend and five the next.

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The break will only apply to the Premier League, though, with a full EFL programme continuing over the break.

In a statement, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said he supported the creation of a mid-season break for the top flight but "it is currently impractical even if it was desirable for the EFL" to do likewise because of the scheduling challenges of playing 46-game seasons and play-offs.

While some may be disappointed the EFL has been unable to find a way to give its players a mid-winter break, the fact the FA and Premier League have managed to find an answer to one of English football's oldest debates should be welcomed.

The FA's chief executive Martin Glenn said: "This is a significant moment for English football and one that we believe will greatly benefit both club and country. It's no secret that we have a very congested fixture calendar and over recent years we have been working with the whole game to find a solution.

"Today's announcement proves that football can come together for the good of the game. We have also found a way to give the players a much needed mid-season break, whilst keeping the much-loved Christmas schedule in place."

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