English Premier League Tests 2,752 Players, Staff For Covid-19, Confirms 4 Positive

LAGOS MAY 29TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Premier League clubs have agreed to restart the season on June 17 after three months out of action.

Two fixtures remaining from the last round of matches — Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United — will take place on the 17th before the first full round of matches the following weekend, according to reports.

As part of “Project Restart,” players and staff are being tested for the coronavirus twice a week, with those testing positive forced to self-isolate for seven days.

Earlier this week the Premier League said it had carried out tests on 1,008 players and staff, reporting that four were positive across three different clubs. Since testing began on May 17, 2,752 tests have been carried out and 12 people — 0.2% — have tested positive. In the next round of testing, the number of tests available to each club will increase from 50 to 60. The U.K. government launched on Thursday its own nationwide test-and-trace system, which will also require people to self-isolate even if they don’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus-borne COVID-19, as the country looks to emerge from lockdown.

The government has also approved the restart of sporting events behind closed doors from June 1.

The 20 Premier League soccer clubs unanimously voted to restart contact training on Wednesday — moving to Stage 2 of “Project Restart.”

“Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimizing any unnecessary close contact,” the league said in a statement.

The clubs each receive millions annually in television revenue as part of deals with broadcasters, including Sky and BT BT.A, -0.04%, as well as international broadcasters. That revenue would be under threat if the season doesn’t resume. Clubs could be forced to pay a potential £330 million rebate to broadcasters even if the season is completed, according to reports.

German football returned on May 16 — the first major European league to do so — with matches being played in empty stadiums. Substitutes and nonplaying staff have been asked to wear face masks, while on-pitch celebrations have been limited to players touching elbows and, in some cases, dancing at a safe distance. Fake crowd noise was added to some of the matches broadcast in the U.S. at the weekend, attracting a mixed response.

Fans of the Premier League will certainly be in for a treat when it finally returns with a bumper television schedule. Viewers could be set for five back-to-back matches on Saturdays and then again on Sundays, with games also scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to reports.

Despite plans to get back on the pitch, a number of high-profile players, including Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté and Watford captain Troy Deeney, have refused to return to training. Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero has expressed concerns over resuming league play.


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Posted by on May 29 2020. Filed under National, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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