Date on which football could resume revealed

Ipswich Town's League One season looks set to be ended this week. Picture: MARK HEATH

Ipswich Town's League One season looks set to be ended this week. Picture: MARK HEATH - Credit: Archant

There will be no elite sport in England, even behind closed doors, until June 1, the Government has stressed.

The timeline, laid out in the Government’s road map for exiting the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, leaves the door open for professional football to resume in early June - a date which the Premier League is said to be targeting as part of its ‘Project Restart’.

June 8 is believed to be the date being worked towards in the top tier, with June 6 previously reported as the EFL’s intended restart date.

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However, hopes are fading fast that the League One and League Two seasons will restart at all - it’s been widely reported that those campaigns will be scrapped this week.

Step two of the Government’s road map, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.


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This will only be possible though if sufficient progress is made in limiting the spread of the virus between now and then, but the document entitled ‘Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Strategy’ says that “organisations should plan accordingly”.

It is less clear when spectators will be able to return to venues.

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The document talks about venues such as cinemas and hairdressers reopening in step three - no earlier than July 4 - but states: “Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to reopen safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.”

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It’s expected that, even if football does restart, games needed to finish the season will be played behind closed doors.

Indeed, it’s been suggested that fans may not be able to return to football grounds until 2021.

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