With the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, European football took a major hit, with suspension of many major leagues, tournaments and events. With almost two months since the complete halt of football in the continent, a number of top tier European leagues are finally met with a decision. On one hand, Ligue 1 and Eredivise seasons were cancelled, while the current La Liga and Bundesliga seasons were announced to be on the return. However, the fans were eager about a decision on the English top flight, the Premier League, which has just received a green light by the UK government to possibly be back in action on 1st June!
The 2019-20 Premier League season was suspended on 13th March, even before the nationwide lock down in UK which was effective from 24th March. The league saw two extensions of suspension, first to 4th April, followed by another lengthening till 30th April.
Now on Monday, Premier League has received the approval by the UK govt for the resumption of their current season. However, the matches will have to be behind closed door, as UK is still very much in the fight against COVID-19. Over 223K positive Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in UK till date, and 32,065 patients have succumbed to the virus.
However, the return of English football next month will only be feasible when there will be no surge in the number of affected Coronavirus cases in the country, as it was stated in 50-page ‘road map’ document unwrapped by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The step two of the road map stated permission for “cultural and sporting events to take place behind-closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.”
Although the allowance on sporting events will not be feasible before the month of June, it is in accordance with the PL’s plans of resumption of English top flight football next month. Although, a ‘behind closed doors’ closure of the rest of the reason means no spectators will be allowed in any stadiums on any remaining match days.
The current EPL season has 9 matches left. Liverpool currenly occupies the top of the league table with 82 points from 29 matches, followed by Manchester City in second with 57 points.