The English Football Association has announced a two-week Premier League mid-season player break in February, to start from the 2019-20 season.
“This is a significant moment for English football and one that we believe will greatly benefit both club and country,” said Martin Glenn, chief executive of the FA.
Premier League matches will still be played over the period, with five top-flight games to be staged on the first weekend and five on the following weekend.
Also, the football house has agreed to move FA Cup fifth-round matches to midweek in order to accommodate the planned break.
The start of the 2019-20 season, fifth-round replays will be removed and replaced with extra-time and penalties, due to the winter break.
“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,” Glenn added.
“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.
“As we head into summer international tournaments in the future we are sure that this mid-season break will prove to be a valuable addition for our players.”