The show goes on for football as chiefs express confidence that season will finish on time
- Credit: PA
The major footballing chiefs in this country have released a joint statement expressing their confidence that the season will be completed fully and on time despite the concerns over Covid-19 spreading amongst clubs.
The continuation of Norwich City's Championship campaign, along with the other professional divisions, has been the subject of debate after some clubs were hit with major coronavirus outbreaks.
The Canaries themselves reported three positive cases last week, including goalkeeper Tim Krul and striker Adam Idah, who both tested positive alongside an unnamed staff member.
Other clubs, such as Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, have been hit more severely, prompting some coaches like Ipswich Town's Paul Lambert and Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce to call for the game to be paused due to a spike in Covid cases driven by the new variant.
The Premier League, EFL, FA and the Women's Super League have released a joint statement stating that clubs have been reminded to enforce social distancing restrictions to ensure the safety of their players.
Bi-weekly testing has been brought in by the EFL in an attempt to control the surging cases being recorded around the country. Despite those fears, football's chiefs are confident the season can be completed on time.
In a statement, they wrote:
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"The Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Barclays Women’s Super League have this week introduced enhanced COVID-19 measures and stressed their importance to everyone in the game.
Safety is a collective effort and football requires the ongoing support of clubs, managers, players and all those involved in staging matches to continue to manage the spread of infection and set the right example to the public on and off the pitch. We will offer guidance, education and support as well as reviewing our practices to ensure they remain of the highest standard.
Our three organisations have confidence in our COVID-19 protocols and our ability to bring the season to a successful conclusion.
Throughout this crisis, the health, safety and well-being of all participants has been our number one priority and by following the national rules and football’s own strict medical and scientific advice, football has been able to maintain its privileged position and continue to engage and entertain millions of people around the country.
The game has a responsibility and during this next critical period it is down to everyone involved to ensure they follow Government rules and our protocols. We have seen the huge contribution players have made to the national effort and they must continue to use their influence in demonstrating the importance of following the rules.
With full compliance to our COVID-19 protocols - alongside effective testing regimes - we are confident at the halfway point of the season that, with the support of all, the 2020/21 campaign will continue to its conclusion in May.
Mark Bullingham – The FA Chief Executive Officer
Richard Masters – Premier League Chief Executive Officer
Trevor Birch – EFL Chief Executive Officer"