English Premier League clubs moved a step closer to allowing contact training after the UK government published ‘Stage Two’ guidelines on Sunday.
According to Project Restart, the Premier League taskforce on restarting the league, this is a clear signal to move from Phase One, that involved individual training, to Phase Two that will allow contact and competitive training.
UK Government’s ‘Stage Two@ guidance published in conjunction with public health officials and sports medical officers, allows for organised, close-contact training, under carefully controlled medical conditions.
The advice is geared towards establishing the conditions for stage three of the process, which is expected to be achieved next month with a resumption of sports, including Premier League matches, behind closed doors.
Premier League clubs will hold a vote on Wednesday whether to return to close-contact training, while the third stage of player testing will take place today and tomorrow.
Premier League football clubs resumed non-contact training last week while other sports, including sailing and taekwondo, have started the process of returning to action in socially-distanced environments.
However, there remains some reluctance, with a number of football players, including Watford captain Troy Deeney and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, citing health concerns in their respective decisions not to return.