EPL mulls plan to Complete League Season in Australia
Amid concerns about restarting the season in England, Australia has emerged as a viable solution as the hunt had been on to find a neutral venue as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United Kingdom.
Professional soccer has been suspended since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has infected over 182 000 people in the United Kingdom, killing more than 28 000 at the time this article was published.
According to Fox Sports, Nigeria’s legions including Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City and Alex Iwobi of Everton and the rest of big names in the Premier League could complete their season in Australia.
English agent, Gary Williams, has gotten the backing of a Perth senator and is currently in talks with the Australian government and Ministry of Sport regarding the proposal.
Several top-flight clubs would reportedly be “happy to oblige” if this becomes a reality, the report added.
Perth has four stadiums – Optus Stadium (with 65,000 capacity), Perth Oval (20,500), cricket’s WACA (24,500) and Joondalup Arena (16,000) – could be utilized if this decision goes through.
Australia has only had four new cases over the last 10 days, with the government lifting numerous restrictions.
In fact, people can now gather in groups of 10 while public beaches have also been opened.
This might open an interesting window of opportunity for La Liga too, who could also try and turn to one of the countries less affected by the novel virus to play the remaining match-days.
The Premier League set a goal to resume the season in June, La Liga is also looking for mid-June as a deadline for the football return.
At the moment, the priority is to have all the players tested for the coronavirus. The first tests are set to be conducted today for all the players in the topflight.
Meanwhile, television pundit, Gary Neville, insisted yesterday that Premier League and its clubs are “frightened to death” about publicly backing the resumption of the season as they do not want to be held liable if someone dies because of the coronavirus.
The 20 Premier League clubs held a conference call on Friday in which they looked at plans for a resumption of training this month but deferred making a decision on resuming the season until the government gave the go-ahead.
The government had originally set 7 May as the day it would review lockdown restrictions.
“The PL are having a CV nightmare. They keep spouting health first but then brief constantly ‘We have to re-start’,” Neville wrote on Twitter.
“I’d respect them more if they said, ‘We accept the increase in health risk but it’s one we are willing to take’. They won’t as they are frightened to death!”
When a Twitter user asked him what would happen if they restarted the season and someone died, Neville said: “That’s why we haven’t heard one single prominent CEO, Chairman, Owner or Executive open his mouth to back the re-start.”