EPL Return In Doubt As Six Players, Officials Test Positive For COVID-19
The English Premier League has confirmed it has received six positive tests for coronavirus from three clubs after the first phase of mass testing.
Top-flight teams voted unanimously to step up their return to action at Monday’s shareholders' meeting, allowing players to train in small, socially-distant sessions as part of phase one measures to return to action.
COVID-19 tests were conducted across Sunday and Monday as part of the league’s partnership with the Prenetics consortium, with the Premier League confirming six individuals have tested positive for the disease.
A statement from the premier league reads: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs.
“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.
“The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.
“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public in this way after each round of testing.”
Officials are optimistic about the Premier League restarting in June - some three months after football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora says a decision on a restart date for the Serie A season will be made at a meeting next week.
Spadafora’s announcement comes one day after reports that a new Government decree would effectively rule out a return of sporting events until at least June 14.
On Saturday, the German Bundesliga resumed following a two-month suspension due to the coronavirus crisis.
Games were played without fans in the stadiums and players as well as coaching staff have to follow strict health protocols.