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Premier League clubs given 'green light' to host friendlies – but under strict conditions

The Premier League has given clubs the ‘green light’ to host friendlies ahead of the league’s restart this month – though any fixtures played must meet strict conditions.

England’s top tier has been suspended since mid-March but preparations are stepping up ahead of the league’s behind-closed-doors restart, the season set to resume with Manchester City against Arsenal and Aston Villa’s clash with Sheffield United on June 17.

Ahead of the Premier League‘s return, clubs have requested permission to play friendly fixtures to step up preparations and bolster their competitive fitness, proposals which have now been accepted by the governing bodies.

According to the Telegraph, games will be played at either stadiums or training grounds under a series of strict conditions to ensure hygiene and social distancing guidelines are maintained.

These include:

  • Clubs are forbidden from travelling for further than 90 minutes
  • All players must travel in their own cars, possibly in their kits
  • No official referees will be allowed, with members of coaching staff taking charge
  • Full risk-assessments of the stadium/training ground before games

Special dispensation will be considered for clubs outside of a 90 minute travelling distance, including the likes of Newcastle and Norwich. Championship clubs can also be considered for friendly fixtures, following the approval of full-contact training for second-tier clubs on Monday.

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See also – Jacks of all Trades: Five of the best ‘Utility Men’ in Premier League history

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