After UK government officials indicated that they wanted the Premier League to commence soon, the League is ramping up their efforts to seek ways to resume operations without endangering public safety.
Premier League clubs are set to meet on May 1; some clubs have already opened up their training facilities. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will also be holding a meeting this week. The results of both meetings will likely shed more light on how the elite football league would be able to accomplish its goal.
The league will likely present its clubs with a protocol on Friday regarding how to resume training.
While recent news have been positive about the potential return of top-flight football behind closed doors come June 9, culture secretary Oliver Dowden informed parliament that the return must conform to public health guidelines. Dowden affirmed that he had been in talks with Premier League officials about a quick return to alleviate the struggles of the football industry, but warned that public health concerns must be met before it can be considered.
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A meeting is scheduled this week between the DCMS, Public Health England (PHE) representatives, and executives from the largest sports leagues in the nation, including the Premier League. The agenda is how to resume sports safely in the UK. All plans will have to be backed by the government and the PHE.
Lack of Training May Lead to Higher Injury Risks
Earlier this week, Brighton, Arsenal and West Ham opened their training facilities for its players. Tottenham Hotspurs is expected to open their facility on April 29. All training facilities will have to comply with social distancing guidelines, but teams may have differing terms of compliance.
Arsenal allows up to five of its players to work out, while Tottenham Hotspurs and West Ham only allow solo running exercises at this time. Spurs stated that only one player can be on any pitch, and players must arrive alone and head home straight away after their training.
Football experts believe that the situation must improve markedly before any resumption can be considered. Due to social distancing guidelines, many of the skills top-flight footballers use are unable to be trained. With the lack of training for such skills, the likelihood for injury increases.
A Fifa spokesperson said that Fifa proposes a higher number of substitutions per game to protect players from being overworked with insufficient training.