NFL will not play international games in 2020 due to coronavirus concerns

There will be no NFL games played internationally in 2020. 

The NFL announced Monday that all of its games in 2020 will be played in the United States as the league establishes consistent protocols for the “well-being of players, personnel and fans” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a press release, the NFL said commissioner Roger Goodell arrived at this decision after consulting with NFL franchises, local and national governments, the NFL Players Association, medical authorities and international stadium partners. 

"After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK," NFL Executive Vice President Christopher Halpin said. "We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season. 

“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK."

In a statement, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the decision is the “right” one and the NFL will be welcomed back in 2021. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot carries the flags of the United States and Great Britian ahead of an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars, at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

The NFL previously had plans to play five international games in 2020: four in London and one in Mexico City. Of the four games in London, two were planned at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and two others at Wembley Stadium. Four teams — the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins — were previously announced as home teams for the 2020 International Series. 

Their opponents were yet to be announced, though the full 2020 schedule is expected to be released later this week. The Jaguars were scheduled to play two home games at Wembley Stadium. 

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NFL said over the weekend that it plans to start its season “on time.”

“If we have to make adjustments, we will be prepared to do so on the latest guidance from our medical experts and public health officials and current and future government regulations,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.

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