Colors: Yellow Color

Following an announcement by the English Premier League, the twenty clubs in the top division have agreed to stage one of the return-to-training protocols, which allows teams to start training in small groups.

Clubs voted unanimously to the decision at the recent ‘Project Restart’ meeting.
Players must observe social distancing rules, and contact training is not permitted.

The first stage was agreed in consultation with players, managers, club doctors, independent experts and the government.

Some players, however, are not totally convinced with Watford captain, Troy Deeney, saying that concerned players are yet to receive ‘simple answers’ on health implications of ‘Project Restart’.

He voiced his concerns after being contacted by fellow-players who have shared his fears, but are reluctant to speak pout openly.

“I think that the concern is with Phase 2 (that is when players start to make contact in training)”, he said. “And Phase 3 is not yet clearly laid out. A lot of ‘simple questions’ have not been answered yet.

“One, for example, is the BAME situation, where government guidelines are saying that people of colour are four times more likely to get coronavirus and twice as likely to have lasting illnesses. But, there is no extra screening or additional checks carried out on players because it costs too much money. Simple things like that are where people are asking questions and they are not being answered when people can answer the questions, you start panicking and worrying”.

Adding to his worries, the Chelmsely Wood-born star continued: “I saw Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham saying that he lives with him dad who has asthma and he has concerns there.

“It just shows that from the Premier League to League Two, there are concerns right across the board”.

The Premier League had previously identified June 12 for matches to possibly restart but there is now an expectation that this will need to be pushed back.

A statement – by the Premier League – added; ‘Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure that everyone will return to training in the safest environment possible. The health and well-being of all participants is our priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process. Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, the clubs, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) and the LMA (League Managers’ Association) as protocols for full-contact training are developed.’

Meanwhile, in the Scotland’s SPL, Celtic was confirmed as champions for the ninth consecutive year after the SPL ended its season, with Hearts being relegated. The decision follows a board meeting after the 12 clubs agreed that completing the campaign was unfeasible.

Average points-per-game played was used to determine the final placing.

The eyes of the football world are fixed on Germany as the country’s Bundesliga are preparing for a restart next weekend.

And, with it already suffering a major setback, the powers that be there are determined to push forward nevertheless.

Dynamo Dresden, who plays in the second tier of German football, have put their entire squad and coaching staff into two-week isolation after two of their players tested positive for coronavirus.

The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are due to restart on Saturday May 16 and is still fully set to be the first European league to restart following the Covid-19 shutdown.

A spokesperson at Dresden said: “The fact is that we can no longer train nor participate in a game in the next 10 days or so”.

The decision was taken after laboratory samples revealed the news, although the two players concerned are currently free of any symptoms of the virus.

In a statement, the club’s sports manager, Ralf Minge, said; “In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all of the prescribed medical and hygienic measures.

“We are in contact with the responsible health authorities and the DFL to coordinate all further steps”.

Dresden was due to resume their season on May 17 at Hanover 96, but that match has now been cancelled due to the quarantine measures.

The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are set to resume behind closed doors – subject to strict safety checks.

The English Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ (Their plans to restart their season) was set to step up pace this week.

However, the revelation that three Brighton players tested ‘positive’ for coronavirus may well ‘kick’ those plans further down the road.

English Premier League clubs are hoping to give their players the go-ahead to return to training in small groups this week.

But, there is a growing feeling that the intended June 12 date set for matches to start again will need to be pushed back.

A vote was due to take place on training and medical protocols when the 20 top-flight clubs where due to hold their next meeting.

If at least 14 of the 20 clubs passed through, players would be able to train in groups of five thereafter.

The Premier League would have been encouraged with the return of the Bundesliga, in Germany, this weekend.

They were the first major football league to in the world to resume after the easing of the lockdown.

As in Germany, Premier League will have to undergo safety measures including tents where temperature checks will be conducted, strict hygiene criteria, no canteens and no showers.

A maximum of five players will be allowed per pitch with tackling forbidden.

Players will be tested twice per week and are being asked to provide written approval that they have received and understood the club’s Covid-19 policy.

The prospect of clubs playing their remaining fixtures at neutral grounds has receded with more than half speaking out against such a proposal.

Tottenham Hotspur forward, Son Heung-min, has won an award for the best performance after he completed his three-week military service in his native South Korea.

Officials said that the 27-year-old Premier League superstar had excelled in his shooting skills and he was also the top performer among a group of 157 trainees.

He was due to serve 21 months, but earned an exemption after being part of the South Korea team which won the Asian Games in 2018 and, as a result, only had to complete three weeks.

Son returned to his homeland, in March, to continue with his recovery from a fractured arm while the season is in suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is mandatory that all South Korean men must complete military service in their country by the time they reach 27.

With the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ hoping to see the top-flight resume in July, it could mean an official return to group training very soon – which Son could miss, due to him having to spend a period of time in quarantine on his return to the UK.

The Spurs star underwent exposure to rear gas, went on lengthy hikes and was trained in how to fire guns during his national service.

Players and staff at Birmingham City F.C. got together to take up the challenge of covering the entire distance between John O’ Groats to Land’s End to help to raise funds for local hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Championship club’s players and staff; including Men’s and Women’s First Team, Academy, BCFC Community Trust, the Former Players Association, Media, Ticket Office, Commercial and Retail recorded their cumulative miles travelled by either running or walking in their respective local surroundings whilst adhering to guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

Backed by Principle partners, Boylsports, who took part themselves, they chose to support the University Hospital Birmingham Charity.

A statement from the club said: “The money raised can now go to delivering care packs to nurses, provide ‘wobble rooms’ for staff to get psychological and emotional support, helping patients to stay in contact with their families by providing tablets with video conferencing apps and much more”.

Charlotte Schofield, Director of Fundraising at the University Hospital Birmingham Charity said: “Our thanks go out to everyone at Birmingham City who took on, or supported the Keep Right On Challenge, as their support will now help us to do more for our NHS Superheroes and the patients who they are treating at these difficult times/

Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs, Celtic and Rangers are among a number of leading European clubs who will be using social media platforms to help find missing young people.

The project, which will run on International ‘Missing Children’s Day’, on May 25, was inspired by Serie A giants, Roma.

The Italian club showed videos of missing children when they were signing players over the past two transfer windows, and six children who were featured have since been found.

The ‘Football Cares’ imitative is being supported by world football’s governing body FIFA.

The European Club Association, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “With the huge following and global reach that these clubs boast, we hope that someone, somewhere might recognise one of the missing children and young people in the videos so that they can be reunited with their loved ones”.

Clubs who have signed up for the initiative so far include Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Inter Milan, Juventus and Lazio in Italy, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid and Valencia in Spain, Irish side Cork and Linfield from Northern Ireland.