On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the English Premier League confirmed that six members of three clubs in the league had tested positive for the coronavirus. The six confirmations were discovered as part of a series of tests. In preparation to restart legal events that have been postponed due to the pandemic. The question now many peoples mind is, will the league continue to move forward on the plan to reopen?
The Premier League
The English Premier League known outside of England just as the EPL. EPL is a soccer league consisting of 20 soccer club scattered throughout England. This league operates in conjunction with the English football league on a promotion and relegation system were teams from lower divisions. Who do well are promoted to higher divisions and the opposite is true for teams that do poorly in higher divisions
Effect Of The Coronavirus
The coronavirus effect on the EPL was historic in that it was the second time in history an English football league/season has been canceled mid-season. The last time being the 1933–40 season which was halted due to the outbreak of World War II. In early March the discovery that many players in the league had contracted the virus postponement of the season. It’s amazing that the coronavirus has had an effect on the world that has not been seen in 80 years.
In mid-April the Premier league enacted “Project Restart”. The project’s goal is to restart the league and play all the remaining matches in a six-week period. Which should be held at agreed-upon neutral venues. Many of the teams at the bottom of the standings voiced concerns over playing the games and in such different conditions.
They did state that they would be okay with the change in the season if the threat of relegation was removed for this year. As part of project restart all players and staff members of the club’s involved in the EPL will undergo mandatory virus testing. On May 19, 2020, 748 players and staff members have been screened in the first round of testing. As a result, it was discovered that six members from three different clubs tested positive for the coronavirus.
A spokesman for the league then said that these individuals will go into to sell quarantine for seven days. No information on their identities or which clubs they are a part of it would be released. Though the individual clubs are free to do so. This news came on the heels of the decision to allow limited team practice to begin in preparation for the league restarting.
On May 18 the league had begun limited practice consisting of no more than half a dozen players can train. As long as they maintained social distancing criteria. The league has decided to allow the limited training to continue despite the positive tests for coronavirus.
The EPL has confirmed they would like to restart the season in mid-June. No exact date has yet been confirmed and with these new cases could potentially decide to push it back further. Some information not released about the tests was, what stage the virus was in those who tested positive.
If the test simply detected antibodies, that could mean that they have already had the virus and are no longer infectious. Given the fact that they are in self-quarantine for a week (seven days shorter than the standard in the United States) this seems unlikely. It is positive note though that of the 700+ people tested only six were positive.
If this trend continues then there should be no issues with restarting the league. Provided the EPL can agree on a date.
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