COVID-19: Clubs will need 15 fit players when Premier League resumes

LONDON, May 19, 2019 (Xinhua) — Manchester City’s players celebrate after winning the English FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley Stadium in London, Britain on May 18, 2019. Manchester City won 6-0 and became the first English men’s side to achieve the feat of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup in the same season. (Xinhua/Matthew Impey/IANS)

London, May 30 (IANS) West Hams vice chair Karren Brady has revealed that keeping in mind the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the world of football, the clubs in their latest meeting discussed that having 15 fit players would be enough to have clubs playing out the fixtures if some of their starting XI players test positive.

“There are obvious and genuine concerns about what happens to your match results if your club has a number of players testing positive for coronavirus, or is in self-isolation, and as a result you simply cannot field your usual or strongest starting XI,” Brady wrote in a column in Saturday’s editions of “The Sun” newspaper.

“Well, as long as you have 15 fit players (including one goalkeeper) made up from either your 25-man squad list or from your under-21s you will be deemed to have a team fit enough to fulfill the fixture.”

The Premier League is set to resume on June 17, subject to government approval. The English FA Cup football competition has been provisionally slated to resume with the quarter-finals on June 27-28 and the final set to be held on August 1.

It could still be a possibility that runaway English Premier League leaders Liverpool will end up winning the title at a neutral venue, as per a BCC report.

The national lead for football policing, deputy chief constable Mark Roberts has said up to six games could be moved at the request of local police forces.

Fixtures like Manchester City vs Liverpool, Manchester City vs Newcastle, Manchester United vs Sheffield United, Newcastle vs Liverpool and Everton vs Liverpool are those that are set to be moved to neutral venues, the report further said.

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