The Premier League season is set to be completed behind closed doors as the UK government steps up plans to combat the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The government is expected to move to the ‘delay’ phase from the ‘contain’ stage in response to the coronavirus being declared a pandemic, with the number of cases in the UK rising to 460 on Wednesday, the biggest single-day increase yet seen.
Plans are now being put into place regarding major sporting events and large gatherings, a decision which is likely to see all of England’s football matches played behind closed doors, a move which could be announced as early as today.
According to the Times, the plans will mean:
● The current season will not be postponed, matches in the Premier League and lower divisions will be played behind closed doors.
● All Premier League season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games will be able to stream coverage of matches of their homes.
● No games will be shown in pubs so as to avoid congregation of people.
● Season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games at Football League clubs will be allowed to watch matches on iFollow streams.
● Premier League games will NOT be shown live in the 3pm slot on Saturday afternoons.
● Broadcasters will be permitted to screen more than one Premier League game during both the lunchtime and tea-time television slots on Saturday, and the scheduled slots on Sundays and Mondays.
Elsewhere across the planet, Italy’s Serie A has been postponed until April 3, while the NBA have also announced that their season will be suspended until further notice.
The announcement of the Premier League’s plans is expected to come once the UK cases toll reaches 500, a figure likely to be surpassed today given the rise in Coronavirus cases over the past week.