PREMIER League football could be back on TV in a few weeks – a major boost for the bored Britons.
Boris Johnson has been informed of the plans for closed games and sees the resumption of live sport as a key to boosting the nation’s morale after weeks of internment.
Other football, tennis, cricket and horse racing leagues may also resume as part of detailed proposals to be negotiated between ministers, public health officials in England and sports organizations.
The priority is to finish the Premier League season, as this would open the transfer window and pour money into the football pyramid.
Government insiders said it was likely that the EFL would start later due to logistical and financial challenges.
Sport is considered to be one of the first activities that can return after the coronavirus closes because it is easy to control compared to reopening pubs, theaters or cinemas.
But first, the government will have to pass its five restart tests – including reducing death and infection rates.
And sport should meet a strict set of criteria, including being able to maintain social distancing and keep everyone involved free from infection.
Regular testing of participants – paid by clubs or sport leaders – should be done to avoid blocking front line workers.
The government’s next review of the foreclosure is scheduled for a week Thursday, May 7.
FIVE CRITERIA THAT ALL SPORTS SHOULD MEET
The rules will be adapted to different sports – but they will all have to meet these general criteria:
- EACH sport should set up regular monitoring systems for participants. These should be paid by sports authorities or clubs to avoid depriving key front-line workers of the vital tests they need to continue working.
- STAFF should be protected from the risk of infection and any additional burden on emergency services should be avoided.
- CLUBS should also ensure that they have put in place measures to deal with the behavior of certain fans, such as the risk of impromptu gatherings off the pitch.
- This is on the backs of supporters of the Parisian club PSG who come to their stadium to celebrate their victory in the Champions League when their match against Borussia Dortmund last month was played behind closed doors.
- BEFORE any sport can resume, the government must first meet the five key criteria it has set for the country before any restrictions can begin to be lifted.
A Whitehall source said, “We want live sport to return to television as soon as possible. It would give the whole country a huge boost.
“We still have a lot to do in the fight against the spread of this virus and it is too early to envisage the return of the fans themselves but it is a means sport divide. “
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urged the Premier League to consider broadcasting matches on terrestrial channels.
Another option being considered is the extended highlights. Clubs can also broadcast games on their websites.
Tennis, cricket and snooker could return sooner than football because officials believe they can more easily maintain social distance during these events.
If the government gave the green light to all sports on May 7, it would take at least two weeks of training for Premier League players to be ready for the game.
The priority is to finish the season and open the transfer window so that the money can then flow into the football pyramid.
There will be weekly meetings between medical officials from major sports organizations and Public Health England, chaired by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports.
The meetings will work on detailed proposals and essential public health checks.
The issue will be on the table when ministers review the current package of social distancing before the next review on May 7.
Authorities have already started developing plans with sports organizations to resume sport as soon as advice from health authorities indicates that it can be done safely.
Once the United Kingdom has passed the five tests to facilitate foreclosure, the ministers will define specific criteria for the return of football and other sports in camera.
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Dowden told MPs earlier this week, “I think the financial reality of most clubs is their main source of income, the direct transfers they receive from the Premier League.
“So if we could do it behind closed doors, it would relieve the pressure on all the other clubs. “
Football officials are monitoring Germany, where clubs resumed training last week and a provisional resumption of matches has been scheduled for May 9.
Government sources said that if all professional sports could resume if they met the criteria, many would choose not to do so due to logistical difficulties.
German players, staff and officials are subject to strict hygiene before entering the stadiums.
They will need to confirm that they have had no symptoms of Covid-19 in the past 14 days and detail the tests they have performed.
The changing rooms must be equipped with hygienic and disinfected facilities.
Five questions about the return of football
What happens to the remaining Champions League rounds? European countries have different approaches to lifting the rules.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE THREE REMAINING HANDS OF THE FA CUP? The FA faces a major challenge in adjusting the quarters, semi-finals and final alongside the tight schedule of Premier League games.
Will all games be televised? Premier League takeover likely to spark frantic negotiations between subscription TV channels such as Sky Sports and BT Sport and free channels, as well as questions about how to integrate the remaining games into TV schedules diffusers.
Would players be required to play and also wear masks? It is unclear whether the football authorities have the power to force them to play, with the threat of legal action if the players catch the virus. Players are very unlikely to wear masks, but they would likely be asked to wear masks when traveling to and from stadiums.
Would the lower leagues resume and what about promotion / relegation? The priority is the Premier League. It is unclear what would happen if the lower leagues did not end their seasons.
Several buses would be necessary to transport players and staff.
In Germany, no one is allowed on a bus unless he is wearing a face mask.
Players may even have to wait until they are home before showering.
The sun says
THE return of live televised sport may not seem like top priority in the context of this huge national effort to prevent Covid-19 from killing thousands of us.
But how much less sinister the past month would have been if the nation still had a jogging spot to focus on.
It is therefore extremely welcome that the government hopes to get the sport back on its feet soon – albeit behind closed doors and subjected to a battery of tests to ensure the safety of players, officials and staff.
It will be weird without a soul there to encourage them. Kind of like a normal county championship cricket match. But it will be much better than nothing. . . and almost certainly free to see too.
It could even allow the best leagues to end their season, while keeping us all a little healthier as this crisis continues.
Bring it on.
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