EFL warns ‘suitable testing’ needed for return

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The English Football League (EFL) has released a statement about a possible return to action and says ‘suitable testing’ is needed before they can think about games taking place in the Championship, League One and League Two.

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Amid reports that the Premier League could return as early as June, the EFL have suggested a possible return is a long way off as widespread testing for front-line workers in the UK should come first during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Clearly, before any return to football can take place, suitable testing arrangements for participants must be in place and this is core to our current planning, as is ensuring there is absolutely no negative impact on the country’s front-line workers, the emergency services, league and club staff members.”

The EFL added they will “consider the latest medical information and evidence from both in the UK and abroad, particularly around the viability and accessibility of the various COVID-19 tests that are currently available.”

With all leagues in the UK canceled below the fourth tier, there is growing concern about the financial health of the 72 professional teams spread across the Championship, League One and League Two. The EFL and Premier League are in constant contact with the UK government about the fast-moving situation.

The EFL are determined to finish those campaigns as promotion and relegation is still to be decided but there is some confusion if relegation from League Two and promotion from the National League (fifth tier) will happen this season due to the latter having its season canceled.

When it comes to the Premier League, like the EFL they hope to complete the rest of the season and there needs to be an agreement between both parties. The Premier League and EFL would both surely have to continue instead of one or the other.

If the Premier League season was canceled, then the EFL season would follow suit as Championship sides battling for promotion to the Premier League would have no point to continue the season.

This EFL statement makes one thing very clear: the soccer authorities in England have their priorities correct and will only consider returning behind closed doors when it is safe for them to do so and without hindering the medical effort.