Clubs fear a return to closed doors after Boxing Day

Clubs fear a return to closed doors after Boxing Day

Premier League clubs are expected to close their stadiums to the public at the end of the year, the English press reports, as the UK is in the throes of an explosion in Covid-19 cases linked to the Omicron version.

Empty stadiums are what Premier League clubs fear, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson refusing to guarantee the stands will open beyond Christmas. While sporting events will take place behind closed doors in Wales and in front of a small number of spectators in Scotland, from 26 December, England is resisting recommendations for now, to stem the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Boxing Day (26 December), the start of a crucial period in the English football season with teams playing three matches until 3 January, is expected to go according to plan. On Monday, the Premier League decided to continue with its overloaded schedule of matches during the holiday season as normal. “Our intention, collectively, is to maintain the current fixture list where it is safe to do so,” the league said in a statement.

Stadium, place of active circulation of virus

Faced with the outbreak of the Omicron version in the United Kingdom, which on Monday recorded 91,743 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, Boris Johnson, however, confirmed “the possibility of taking additional measures to protect the public, public health and our safety”. health services to keep safe”. In private, clubs increasingly doubt they will be allowed to entertain the public after December 28, reports Wire,

Health officials fear that the matches held represent a very high risk of spreading the virus in the current context. Only four of last weekend’s ten matches were held in the Premier League as usual. The Premier League board has considered postponement requests, but the option was ruled out due to the perceived risk of damage to the integrity of the competition.

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A decision that sparked the anger of some politicians and coaches, including Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea’s coach. The Blues conceded a draw to Wolverhampton (0–0), while they requested the cancellation of their match. A request that was rejected despite seven cases of Covid-19. Title contenders Liverpool also stumbled in a 2-2 draw at Tottenham, with several key players missing due to the coronavirus.

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