Government confirm potential for football season to resume in June
- Credit: PA
Norwich City’s suspended Premier League season could resume without spectators at games in June, depending on the success of the government’s coronavirus pandemic recovery strategy, which has been published in full this afternoon.
With football fans awaiting the outcome of a Premier League summit about the potential for resuming the suspended season, the ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’ document has been published following prime minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Sunday evening.
As part of the wider societal impacts of the attempt to move back towards normal life, amid a pandemic which has already claimed over 31,000 lives this year, there are a couple of key sporting snippets of information in the 50-page document.
This sets out that - subject to the rate of infection in the UK remaining below the required virus reproduction rate - the government will not enter step two of its recovery plan before Monday, June 1.
Should the plan enter step two then one of the outcomes will be “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.
While football supporters were already aware of widespread reports suggesting that Project Restart was looking to get English football up and running again during the week commencing Monday, June 8, the new information confirmed that professional sport will not return this month.
The document also states that reopening venues that attract large crowds such as sports stadia “may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections”.
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The Canaries sit six points adrift from safety with nine games of the Premier League season left to play, with five of those being at home, against Southampton, Everton, Brighton, West Ham and Burnley.
Daniel Farke’s team also have an outstanding home FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United, as well as league trips to Arsenal, Watford, Chelsea and Manchester City.
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The document also states that people will be able to resume playing some sports for exercise from this Wednesday, which the prime minister had revealed in his speech.
It states: “People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. For example, this would include angling and tennis.
“You will still not be able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.
“You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household - this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.”
The Press Association report that a government spokesman clarified: “People will obviously have to apply common sense to this, so you’ll need to remain two metres apart which would obviously rule out certain types of team sport, contact sport.
“But in terms of could you play tennis or golf? The answer is yes.”