‘No-one can know’ – Decision to halt football likely to be even bigger blow to Stoke City boss



Stoke City chairman Peter Coates fears Michael O’Neill may have managed his last game for Northern Ireland thanks to the coronavirus crisis.

O’Neill had been given permission by Stoke City to carry on managing his country for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia later this month.

But now that game has been put on ice indefinitely amid the coronavirus outbreak and might have to be postponed until next season ahead of a re-scheduled Euro 2020 finals in the summer of 2021.

“That match has obviously been postponed and no-one can possibly know at the moment when it is likely to be replayed,” he said.

“You can see those kind of games going into next season now and that would make it unlikely he would be in charge.

“But we are in unchartered waters. Just when you think you have seen it all in football, something like this comes along and we all just have to see how it plays out.”

The chairman had hoped to be travelling to Reading today with other fans, but the EFL and the Premier League have postponed all games until after the international break.

That means Stoke’s fixtures against Reading, Middlesbrough and Wigan will have to be re-scheduled some time after the proposed return to action on April 4.





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