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Premier League clubs have agreed to resume contact training. This comes as four more players/backroom staff tested positive for Covid 19 on Wednesday. The decision to return to contact training was based on consultation from clubs, managers, the PFA, LMA and the government.
BBC Sport report that over 1,000 players were tested in the third round of testing which then resulted in four positive tests coming back. The Premier League issued a statement confirmed the news that contact training will resume. They said, “Phase two of ‘Project Restart’ will see players “train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising unnecessary close contact”.
As of now 2,752 tests have been conducted with just the 12 positive tests. However, Premier League will players and staff will still have to be tested twice a week for the virus. Furthermore, there will also be an increase in capacity of testing per club from 50 up to 60 tests. Clubs started non contact training last week for the first time since March 13th. BBC say that clubs will meet on Thursday to discuss the use of neutral stadiums for games. It will also discuss on what will happen if the season is ended and voting on rebates for broadcasters.
This is a good step as it is a step closer to getting football back properly. The next stage after the contact stage will allow clubs to have 11v11 games and close contact training. However, the one question I would have to raise is, what happen when a player tests positive, does that mean the whole team have to quarantine, considering that player may have and will likely have been around team mates. However, may be the clubs have used GPS to track this in some way given the way technology is these days.
It is likely another few weeks away from full football and we may not see the Premier League finish. However, this is a step in the right direction.