EPL resumes from June 17; players’ shirts to bear ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan
The English Premier League (EPL) will resume its 2019-2020 season from June 17 after it was suspended on March 13 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With this, it has become the third major European league to restart the season after the German Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga resumed on May 16 and June 11 respectively.
The wealthiest and most popular league in world football, the EPL will be played behind closed doors without fans to cheer. The organisers have allowed five substitutions per game and instead of the usual three during with social distancing norms will be practised. The substitutes will sit apart from each other and the players and staff will be tested for the disease twice a week.
Also, the six high-risk games will be played at venues away from the high population clusters where the rate of infection is high.
The first match will be played on 17 June between Aston Villa and Sheffield United while the second match that will be played between Manchester City vs Arsenal on the same day.
During the resumption of the league, 16 teams will play nine games each that were left midway during the lockdown. Apart from these, Arsenal, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Sheffield United will play the pending 10 games. The matches will be played every day to complete 92 games till the league ends. As of now, the announcement of about 32 games that will be played by July 2 has been made.
Also, as a tribute to the worldwide anti-racism movement, the EPL has decided to put the slogan Black Lives Matter instead of the players’ names.