Thursday, July 2, 2020

Coronavirus: Premier League should consider completing season in Europe, says Neville

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 May 2020

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Gary Neville has suggested the Premier League should consider playing games in European “hotspots” without coronavirus concerns, if the plan remains to finish the season.

The 2019-20 top-flight campaign has been halted since March 13 due to the global health pandemic, though the Premier League has continued to make clear its determination to complete the backlog of fixtures.

Friday will see further talks held between stakeholders over how to proceed, with reports suggesting there is hope for action to resume on the weekend commencing June 13.

Neville, however, is concerned over games going ahead in Britain safely – even behind closed doors – considering the logistical issues involved.

Instead, the former Manchester United and England defender has raised the possibility of shifting to safer locations in Europe, places that can “handle the virus” and allow football to be played.

“If the Premier League are really serious about delivering the matches that remain in a safe environment, they would move it to the two or three spots that are within three or four hours of this country that are coronavirus free,” Neville said during Sky Sports’ The Football Show on Friday.

“They would take the Premier League players, broadcasters and media over, quarantine for a week or two and then deliver it in an environment that has proven it can handle this virus.

“There are a couple of hotspots in Europe that haven’t got coronavirus which could handle the Premier League finishing. If they were serious about it and wanted to deliver it with a safe outcome, they could do that.

“In this country, I’m not sure they can deliver it with the amount of coronavirus which is around, especially with the amount of movement of it out there and the logistic issues. I’m not sure they can deliver what they want to do.”

The United Kingdom has seen over 26,000 coronavirus-related deaths during the crisis.

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