Games are set to be played in empty stadiums. Peter Byrne
Action Plan

Every football match in England set to go behind closed doors

A report in today’s London Times says UK government set to impose action plan to deal with coronavirus pandemic. Doubts exist over final day at Cheltenham.

THE PROSPECT OF Premier League matches moving behind closed doors is becoming increasingly likely.

The UK’s government – according to a report in the London Times – are scheduled to meet this morning and make dramatic changes to its action plan to deal with this worldwide crisis.

Advisers to UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, have suggested imposing the new plan as soon as the number of coronavirus cases in the UK reaches the 500-mark. It is currently at 460.

So, should it go beyond 500 today, the advice from their medical experts is that every match should go behind closed doors. In this scenario, the final day of the Cheltenham Festival would, in all probability, be postponed. Similarly, it is hard to see how the Wales-Scotland Six Nations fixture will go ahead, as planned, for this weekend.

The main points in the UK government’s action plan are - 

1: To run off fixtures as normal – which is good news for Liverpool fans as their side limp towards their first league title since 1990.

2: Play games in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two behind closed doors.

3: Stop games being screened live into pubs – to avoid crowds gathering there.

4: Screen Premier League games free into people’s homes.

5: Provide streams for season-ticket holders to follow their team live.

It seems a matter of time before the Irish government imposes similar laws on sport in this country. The GAA, FAI and the four provincial rugby clubs have already begun preparations to deal with various scenarios.

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