As the English Premier League gears up to return after more than three months on June 17, the clubs have reportedly been allowed to play friendlies before the 2019-20 season gets away after a suspension caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
According to a report on Goal.com, the clubs have accepted all the guidelines and health measures imposed by the Premier League to play a friendly ahead of the return of the top-flight football in the United Kingdom.
The clubs won’t be able to travel more than 90 minutes from their home ground to play a friendly game and the players would be moving in their own cars. Also, instead of referees, the coaching staff have been given the responsibility to officiate such matches.
The venues will undergo a complete risk assessment before every friendly and the players will be allowed to play only if their most recent COVID-19 tests come out negative. The clubs will have to make plans for parking “to ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times and all unnecessary congestion or congregation is eliminated”.
Reportedly, several Premier League clubs have already made contact with Championship sides – who will be issued guidance from English Football League this week – to arrange friendlies.
Meanwhile, the government on Saturday gave the Premier League the approval to resume the 2019-20 season on June 17 but asserted that all the health guidelines and social distancing measures be strongly adhered to.
The government, in fact, gave a green light to all forms of sports to restart from June 1 as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published the ‘Stage Three’ guidance.
In the ‘Stage Two’ guidance the athletes were allowed to resume “close-contact” and “competitive” group training with fellow athletes or teammates.