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First Step For Football To Be Played Behind Closed Doors Put In Place
Saturday, 4th Apr 2020 09:25

Playing football behind closed doors has been something that has been mentioned over the past month, but many believed that it would never happen, but the first measure has been put into place for this to happen.

Some supporters on social media have suggested that football behind closed doors will not happen, their main argument seems to be that it would make a mockery of the game and that there would no competitiveness or intensity without supporters in the ground.

Whilst they do have a point, supporters are the lifeblood of the game and create excitement and a spectacle that makes it so attractive to those of us who love the game.

But these are desperate times and the Premier League is committed to bringing the League to a conclusion, if only for the legal ramifications of not doing so that make the option of declaring the season null & void or even making the current table the final one unworkable.

The first step towards playing behind closed doors has now been actioned, Uefa has lifted the ban on showing games starting at 15:00 on a Saturday live on TV in England and Scotland.

The move comes after requests from the Football Association and the Scottish Football Association amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It is seen as the first move towards restarting some domestic competitions in the UK behind closed doors.

The blackout has long been in place during the English and Scottish season to protect attendances, most supporters are probably unaware that games cannot be shown on TV at that time is a law on the UEFA statute books.

In a statement, Uefa said: "Uefa has lifted the 'blocked hours' protection granted to England and Scotland for the remainder of the 2019-20 season following requests from the relevant national associations as a result of measures taken in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic."

The chances of a game or indeed games being played behind closed doors has now moved a step nearer, I think that the Premier League is being urged to consider this by the Government at least in the early stages of any restart to the competition.

When we come out of lockdown, we will not just walk out of our houses and life return to normal, restrictions will be lifted gradually and when each stage occurs without any ramifications, the next will be applied.

This will be the case for football, I think the aim if for a full restart at the start of June and this is a realistic target albeit one that at the present is impossible to guarantee, but the Government is keen for sport to restart to provide entertainment for the public, obviously this cannot happen until it is safe for the players to get back together and train, so this is still 6-8 weeks away at the earliest.

Ideally football will restart with fans being allowed into the ground to watch, but the priority is finishing the season, so closed doors is very much on the table, as are games being played in front of stadiums not full to capacity.

That could mean restrictions on the attendance, away fans not being permitted would be the first step in this as would only allowing season ticket holders into game initially, for Saints just those two measures would restrict the attendance to around 20,000.

Games would still be shown live, but this scenario covers all bases for both the Premier League and clubs.

So Friday's press releases were all low key, but they hint at far deeper & more comprehensive planning going on behind closed doors to use a rather ironic choice of words.

Photo: Action Images

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AirFlorida added 10:36 - Apr 4
This doesn't sort the glaringly obvious problem that the players are MORE at risk of getting the virus from the opposition players and staff than from coming into contact with the fans (clubs could keep the first 5-10 rows of seats empty). Just one positive case amongst a player (and there will be another one for sure) could isolate a whole squad and opposition and may be force the league back on hold. Pre game player/staff testing may need to be the norm in the seasons to come if clubs want to protect their £££ superstars from a virus that is certainly going to mutate and is already claiming the lives of younger, fitter people.

codge added 12:32 - Apr 4
Well at least there be no home field advantage LOL.

StEdmund added 13:21 - Apr 4
Why not just play SUBBUTEO, with a player nominated from each club to finish the season? Safer than real games behind closed doors or otherwise! Otherwise watching a game with 2 metre distancing on the pitch would be interesting with plenty of goals (LOL).
The FA are living on a different planet ......
Stay safe everyone.

saintmark1976 added 13:40 - Apr 4
The footballing authorities should simply bow to the inevitable and cancel the whole 2019/20 season as though it never ever took place, much the same as Wimbledon have with the tennis. The sooner the better, as we will all then know exactly where we stand. They won't of course because once again all the clubs and players are interested in is money.

In the event of cancellation I'm sure various parties would be stupid enough to take legal action. Good luck in court with that, when the cause of the problem is a pandemic which is sweeping the whole world and killing it's citizens by the thousands every day.In the old days it was called an Act of God, what it would be called now I've no idea but I suspect various judges will.

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