English Premier League could restart next month without crowds

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah vies with Bournemouth's English defender Jack Simpson during the English Premier League football match in March. (AFP/File)
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Updated 11 May 2020

English Premier League could restart next month without crowds

  • Government guidelines say elite sport in England could start behind closed doors from June 1
  • Premier League clubs meet Monday to continue “Project Restart” discussions

LONDON: Elite sport in England could start behind closed doors from June 1, according to government guidelines published on Monday, boosting Premier League clubs’ hopes of completing their season.
The government’s road map for exiting the coronavirus lockdown sets out the conditions under which various activities could be safely carried out.
Step two of the process, which cannot begin any earlier than June 1, includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.”
Events will only be allowed to take place if sufficient progress is made in limiting the spread of the virus between now and then.
It appears supporters in the UK face a long wait to attend matches, with the guidelines recognizing a return to sport in front of a crowd “may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.”
Sports events involving international travel, such as football’s European competitions, cricket tours and Formula One, could be affected by the government’s planned introduction of an enforced 14-day quarantine period for arrivals to the UK, except for those from countries “on a short list of exemptions.”
Premier League clubs are meeting on Monday to continue their discussions on “Project Restart.” The English top-flight had been planning for a return to action no earlier than the week beginning June 8.


Moukoko could become youngest Champions League player

Updated 24 November 2020

Moukoko could become youngest Champions League player

  • The 16-year-old Cameroonian has been training regularly with the Dortmund first team since August

DORTMUND: Borussia Dortmund forward Youssoufa Moukoko could become the youngest player ever in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Dortmund said Monday that Moukoko was added to the squad for the home match against Belgian club Brugge.

Moukoko broke the Bundesliga record on Saturday when he made his debut for Dortmund on the day after his 16th birthday. Moukoko came off the bench in the 5-2 victory over Hertha Berlin.

If he plays on Tuesday, Moukoko would break the Champions League record held by Celestine Babayaro. The Nigerian left back was 16 years, 87 days old when he played for Belgian club Anderlecht in the group stage in 1994.

Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said he was eager to rotate the team to cope with a busy schedule but didn’t commit to giving Moukoko any game time.

“It’s hard to say and to answer immediately. We will see today in training and we have a lot (of players) up front,” Favre said. “We have a lot of options up front and we will see.”

Moukoko scored 13 goals in four games for Dortmund’s under-19 team this season and 34 in 20 games last season. He has been training regularly with the first team since August.

Moukoko was born in Cameroon but moved to Germany as a child and has played for German youth national teams.

Dortmund are in first place in Group F of the Champions League and will be on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages with a win over Brugge. Dortmund beat the Belgian team 3-0 earlier this month.

Dortmund said Monday that attacking midfielder Reinier had tested positive for the coronavirus. Dortmund said Reinier is in isolation at home and is not showing symptoms. He is on loan from Real Madrid.

Reinier most recently played for the Brazilian under-23 national team in two friendlies in Egypt during the last international break. He wasn’t in the Dortmund squad for the 5-2 Bundesliga victory over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.