Coronavirus: FA ‘offer Wembley’ to Premier League to help finish 2019/20 season

The Premier League is still attempting to work out a way to finish the current season

Luke Brown
Monday 13 April 2020 12:45
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Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

The Football Association has offered both Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park as potential venues to help the Premier League complete the 2019/20 season, which has been derailed because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League is currently suspended indefinitely after a meeting between all 20 clubs in early April decided that it would be impossible for the season to resume in early May, as had been originally planned.

The Premier League is currently exploring numerous different ways for how the season can restart, with The Independent exclusively revealing earlier this month that plans have been developed for televised games in isolated “World Cup-style” camps in the midlands and London over June and July.

In order to complete the plan, clubs and their staffs would be confined to separate hotels away from their families, just like in an international tournament – albeit with full testing and quarantine conditions.

The aim is to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus as even one case could derail the whole plan.

And, with the return of the Premier League now destined to take place behind closed doors to protect both players and the public, both Wembley and St George’s Park, the National Football Centre, have been offered to the Premier League, according to a report in the Times.

Wembley could host as many as four matches on the same day while limiting travel between venues once restrictions are eased, the report said, adding that fans were unlikely to be allowed to attend.

“When we know about the length of lockdown and exit mechanisms we can see which options are viable,” the source told the Times.

The National Football Centre at St George’s Park, which has 228 hotel rooms as well as 13 football pitches, has also been made available to the Premier League as a potential location for quarantined World Cup-style camps.

However, The Independent understands that the Premier League’s numerous return plans are all contingent on it being safe to resume playing matches, with a rollout in coronavirus testing likely to be key.

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