The English Premier League is gradually getting to the point where resumption of the 2019-2020 season which has been halted since March 13 will resume. But that can only happen in phases. The first prominent phase is team training.
This team training is also in phases. The first phase of team training is that players will train in groups of 5. This phase is expected to commence on Monday, May 18. And each training session must not exceed 75 minutes.
To this effect, the Premier League has drafted strong restrictions and the circular has been sent to player and coaches ahead of the commencement of group training. One of the provisions of the circular is that tackling won’t be allowed during training. That’s, no extreme body contact is allowed among the groups of five. This implies that even when the training commences, social distancing must still be observed.
Before the training can commence at all, the training surfaces, the goalposts, Corner-flags, balls, and all other equipment which will be used for the training must be disinfected at the end of every session.
Besides that, clubs are mandated to subject the players and coaches to carry out coronavirus test twice in a week. The players and the coaches will have to check their temperature before the commencement of any training session and respond to a pre-training questionnaire.
The Premier League also urged the players and the backroom staff to always use their Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] and also observe stringent personal hygiene.
Every player is expected to drive to the training ground by himself and drive home alone. This means that team buses will not be used and the players are not expected to use public transport. Besides meeting at the gym and medical rooms of the training ground, players are not expected to congregate anywhere else.
This medical protocol, if accepted by the players through the Premier League‘s Professional Footballers Association (PFA), it will guide the first phase of the training until the government gives the go-ahead for the second phase of training which will allow for body contact.
Meanwhile, according to a BBC report, the Premier League has scheduled a meeting with the league’s medical staff and the PFA today, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. The meeting aim is to discuss and agree on the medical protocol that will guide the groups of five training sessions.