ALL league and grassroots football in Dorset has been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The FA, National League and Wessex League all released statements today in line with new government advice on restricting mass gatherings. 

Weymouth had seen play suspended after the National League paused its divisions until Friday, April 3.

In suspending play until that date, the National League brings itself into symmetry with the FA's announcement last Friday.

However, the National League has faced criticism over allowing play to continue last weekend, with Weymouth beating Slough 2-0.

National League bosses met this afternoon, releasing a statement after nearly two hours of deliberations.

It read: "At its board meeting on Friday, the National League decided to use its best endeavours to keep its season going in the face of unprecedented adversity.

"However, with the current coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching global pandemic levels it has to accept that the situation is now out of its own control.

"In the knowledge of the government measures now announced, including not to support sporting events with emergency services workers, it is clearly not practical for its fixtures to be fulfilled in the immediate future.

"In those circumstances and in line with the Football Association and the professional game, at a board meeting today, the National League has decided that its competition is now suspended until at least 3rd April 2020.

"The National League will continue to monitor the situation, but trusts that its loyal clubs, fans, players, officials, staff, volunteers and sponsors will accept that it has had no other choice but to reach this decision.

"It wishes everybody connected with the competition and indeed the whole country a safe passage through these turbulent times."

Weymouth currently sit third in the Vanarama National League South.

Meanwhile, Portland United had to await the outcome of a similar meeting of Wessex League officials, who released a statement via Twitter.

"Following a change in government advice, The @FA has issued a statement recommending that all grassroots football is suspended for the foreseeable future," it read.

"In accordance with that advice, the #Sydenhams League (Wessex) has postponed upcoming fixtures.

"The matter will be kept under constant review and we will act in line with advice we receive from the FA and the Government."

Dorchester and Bridport's respective leagues have already postponed play.

This evening, the FA announced the suspension of all grassroots football.

In a statement, it said: "We have issued a further update regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on football in England.

"Following the Government’s announcement today, for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, we are now advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future.

"Throughout this period, we have taken government advice with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. We will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time.

"We are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review. Further updates will follow as needed."

The Dorset Premier League, Dorset Senior League (DSL) and Dorset League Divisions One to Four had continued play last weekend.

Chickerell United, of the DSL, suspended playing activity despite matches in their division continuing.