English Football League say virus testing key to resuming season

Burnley’s Chris Wood (left) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier battle for the ball during a match last month. (AP pic)

LONDON: The English Football League insisted on Saturday that matches cannot resume without “suitable” testing measures for the coronavirus, adding such measures must not jeopardise the safety of front-line workers.

Professional football in England has been suspended since March because of the pandemic.

“Clearly, before any return to football can take place, suitable testing arrangements for participants must be in place and this is core to our current planning, as is ensuring there is absolutely no negative impact on the country’s front-line workers, the emergency services, league and club staff members,” the EFL said, responding to reports the Premier League has devised plans for a return to action behind closed doors in June.

The EFL govern the three divisions immediately below English football’s top flight.

The statement echoed comments made by the England and Wales Cricket Board about the need for a “significant testing regime” before the English cricket season, whose start has been delayed until July, could get underway.

All major sport in Britain is currently at a standstill, with the UK under a nationwide lockdown.