The Sun : Government ‘opening the door’ for football to return in June, confirms culture secretary after meeting with chiefs

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FOOTBALL could return in JUNE as long as players' safety can be guaranteed, the government has confirmed.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said it is now up to the football authorities to push ahead with plans, nicknamed Project Restart.

Football could return in JUNE as long as players safety can be guaranteed, the government has confirmed
Reuters

It is likely that if the plans to get off the ground only the Premier League and Championsip would be completed.

Today Dowden chaired a meeting with chief executives from the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association and described talks as "positive".

It is planned that games, if they do take place, will kick-off behind closed doors with proposals to make them free-to-air on TV.

The government believes that football returning will be good for the country's morale and wants everyone to have access to matches.

The government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.

Oliver Dowden

However, for any fixtures to take place the safety of players, coaches and staff would have to be guaranteed.

Dowden said in a statement: "Today's positive meeting I hosted with the football authorities progressed plans for the resumption of the professional game in England.

"We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first.

"The government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.

"This should include widening access for fans to view live coverage and ensure finances from the game's resumption supports the wider football family.

"It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans, and there is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.

"The Government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support to the game ahead of any final decision which would put these plans into action."

SPORT RETURNS

Earlier in the week, Boris Johnson's Government gave the green light to elite-level sport recommencing behind closed doors from June 1.

Health officials have remained in close contact with football bosses as they draw up plans to bring players and staff back to training before matches can resume.


⚠ Read our coronavirus in sport live blog for the latest news & updates


England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam was present in Wednesday's video calls with managers and captains as protocols were discussed.

An initial Premier League return date of June 12 is set to be delayed by a week however, to allow more time in preparing the necessary health and safety guidelines.

Top-flight clubs are due to restart training on Monday with Championship teams told to wait until May 25.

Dowden, the Conservative MP for Hertsmere, held talks with key figures on Thursday
PA:Press Association



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