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Commissioner Goodell tells NFL teams to close facilities

Roger Goodell said the shutdown of NFL facilities will carry on until April 8 due to the global health crisis.

The NFL logo
The NFL logo

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER Goodell has told teams that all club facilities will be closed by Wednesday, with limited exceptions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, halting professional leagues and delaying the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo until next year due to the health crisis.

At least 18,900 people have died globally, with more than 422,780 confirmed cases.

As countries enforce stricter measures to combat the spread of the virus, Goodell said the shutdown of facilities will carry on until April 8, when the NFL will determine – with the advice of medical experts and public health officials – whether it is safe to reopen or elongate their closures.

The exemptions for who can work at facilities includes, employees providing ongoing medical treatment to players as well as employees necessary to maintaining the security and operational capabilities of the facilities.

“Over the past week, every NFL club has suspended normal business operations in response to the advice of medical experts and public health authorities,” Goodell said in a statement sent to franchises on Tuesday via NFL Network.

“Last week, we agreed with the NFLPA to close all facilities to players other than those receiving medical treatment and rehabilitation. In the succeeding days, clubs took further steps to respond to current conditions and directed all but a limited number of staff to work remotely.

“In part, these changes were prompted by state or local government orders to ‘stat at home’ but in many other cases, clubs changed their practices to contribute to the national effort to employ remote work options as an essential element to reducing the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the risk of exposure.

“To ensure that all clubs operate on a level playing field, and that the NFL continues to conduct itself in a responsible way at this time, it is appropriate to outline certain principles that will apply during the current period. These principles have been reviewed with and endorsed by the Competition Committee and will remain in effect until further notice.”

NFL teams, however, are still free to conduct player signings and evaluation of draft prospects among other operations linked to the 2020 season.

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“The challenges we face are not unique — many businesses and individuals throughout the country are experiencing and addressing similar issues,” Goodell said. “Please be assured that the NFL is well-positioned to meet these operational challenges as we prepare to offer our fans and the country an outstanding 2020 NFL season.”

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