England's second-tier Championship to resume from 20 June, clubs to return to full contact training from early June

The provisional date for Championship restart was subject to all safety requirements and government guidance being met and clubs receiving clearance from local authorities to stage home matches.

Reuters June 01, 2020 09:51:59 IST
England's second-tier Championship to resume from 20 June, clubs to return to full contact training from early June

England’s second-tier Championship plans to resume play on 20 June, more than three months after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the English Football League (EFL) said on Sunday.

Englands secondtier Championship to resume from 20 June clubs to return to full contact training from early June

Representational image. AP

The provisional date was subject to all safety requirements and government guidance being met and clubs receiving clearance from local authorities to stage home matches.

Clubs are set to resume full contact training this week, with the government saying that competitive sport in England can return from Monday behind closed doors provided strict conditions are met.

“Whilst matches will, unfortunately, have to take place without supporters, we are working with our broadcast partners, EFL Championship Clubs and all relevant stakeholders to broadcast the remaining 108 games,” EFL chairman Rick Parry said in a statement.

He said the games, and the Championship playoffs, will be either live on subscription-based Sky Sports, iFollow or a club’s equivalent streaming service.

“We must stress that at this stage the date is only provisional and will only be confirmed once we have met all the requirements,” said Parry of the June resumption.

“Clearly completing the season in a safe manner is going to require a significant effort by all concerned and, whilst not unprecedented, it will need clubs to play a significant number of matches over a relatively short period of time.”

Leeds United lead the standings, a point ahead of West Bromwich Albion.

Fulham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End occupy the playoff spots while Charlton Athletic, Luton Town and Barnsley are the bottom three.

No Championship matches have been played since 8 March.

The EFL said the Championship play-off final would be on or around 30 July.

It was also agreed to consider changing the regulations to allow the use of five substitutes in the remaining fixtures and an increase in the matchday squad from 18 to 20 players.

The Premier League, the world’s richest soccer league, has already announced it plans to restart on 17 June.

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