Premier League restart may require neutral venues for key matches, police chief | Football News


The Premier League has told its clubs that only approved sites can be used

The Premier League has told its clubs that only approved sites can be used

Premier League and EFL decisive matches may need to be played on neutral venues if football is able to return to minimize the impact on emergency services, said the national police official. soccer.

Playing all pending Premier League, EFL and FA Cup matches in the 2019-2020 season on their home sites “would present challenges” to police, said Deputy Police Chief Mark Roberts.

This comes as governing bodies continue to discuss how to safely return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

DCC Roberts has reported the possibility that games where titles or promotions are at stake may be moved or prevented from moving forward if crowds gather outside the original venues.

If this approach is adopted, it could mean that Liverpool or Leeds would have to play for the Premier League title or the elite promotion of Anfield or Elland Road, if the pivotal match were to be at home.

“We did the work by evaluating the remaining games – I think it’s 92 to finish the Premier League season and 341 in the Football League, seven to finish the FA Cup,” he said.

Arsenal players allowed to train individually at London Colney

Arsenal players allowed to train individually at London Colney

“Playing all of these matches would present challenges, there are a lot of people moving around the country, and certainly if they were all played in the stadiums originally planned, I think that presents challenges.

“I think we all have to look at the options on the games that absolutely must be played.

“Let’s see how they can be managed, potentially in their own stadiums but also if we can see the benefits of playing in a neutral and controlled place, both from a health point of view but also by minimizing any disruption to the police, the ambulance service and all these other functions that will be extended as we return to normalcy and people start to resume their normal activities.

“It makes sense and I think any group of football fans can probably highlight the games that are likely to get attention now.

“One of the things the Premier League and Football League are keenly aware of is that clubs should send the message that if matches are to take place, they need the continued support of supporters and the public.

“There could be a good understanding that if people start to come together and cause public health or public order issues, it could mean that the games cannot continue. “

The Premier League has reportedly told its clubs that only approved sites can be used – operating with higher certification than under normal circumstances.

More details on this are expected to be presented to the clubs at their next regular general meeting of shareholders on Friday, but this increases the possibility that some matches will be played on neutral sites, which will lead to clubs’ questions of integrity.

“This is not about imposing anything on us (or telling the football authorities) (what to do),” added Roberts.

“I think it is, first of all, football which convinces the government that it can organize matches and that everyone can do it in terms of players, officials, coaches, broadcasters.

“So you get this first step in” how can you secure football on the spot? And it may in fact force them to play in specific neutral places where he can be controlled. So I think the health aspect could dictate the safety aspect. ”

Bundesliga set to return on May 9 - if German government approves

Bundesliga set to return on May 9 – if German government approves

The governments of some European countries, including France and the Netherlands, have already ordered the suspension of sport – even behind closed doors – for health and safety reasons.

DCC Roberts insists that the safety of everyone involved is the primary consideration, but that it is also the role of the police to allow industries like football to take over.

“It is important (to bring it back). We want as many of our industries as possible to return as soon as possible, ”he said.

“Germany has started training again – France, Holland and Belgium have decided not to have football. They will be guided by the place of each country on the curve of their health situation. “

Roberts said he had spoken to German authorities this week about how he planned to handle the recovery of professional football in the country, which is expected to start next month.

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