London Mayor Sadiq Khan considers it to be 'too early' for the Premier League to return to action in June in the capital.
Project Restart has become a topic of much discussion in recent weeks and while authorities in England are determined to complete the current campaign, there remain a number of obstacles that must first be overcome.
?️ "Football shouldn't even be spoken about till numbers have dropped massively. It's b*llocks."— 90min (@90min_Football) May 12, 2020
Danny Rose has had his say on the return of Premier League football. https://t.co/ncfitW7zeF
Despite this, the UK government confirmed recently that the Premier League could return on 1 June as long as the coronavirus remains under control. Neutral venues has proven to be one of the most prominent issues, while players' welfare has of course also been brought up. Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have both recently voiced their concerns over the season resuming during the current crisis.
The Evening Standard now report that London Mayor Khan is 'keen' - for the time being anyway - to push back on any top-flight sport in London. The capital has been one of the worst impacted cities in the world by COVID-19. Of the 92 remaining Premier League fixtures in 2019/20, 22 are scheduled to be played in London unless neutral venues are introduced.
A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office told the newspaper: “Sadiq is extremely keen for the Premier League and professional sport in general to resume.
"However, with the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of the Premier League and top-flight sport in the capital.
“As a Liverpool fan, Sadiq of course wants the Premier League to return, but it can only happen when it is safe to do so, and it cannot place any extra burden on the NHS and emergency services.”
Furthermore, the spokesperson added that it is far from clear how the season could resume without the risk of potentially spreading the infection, increasing cases once more. As a result, Khan believes it isn't safe at this moment in time.
The spokesperson continued: “Sadiq is also concerned about the welfare of players competing in all professional sports, not just football. There are huge questions to be asked how players could train safely, how they would travel to matches and how they could play competitive matches without the risk of spreading infection.”
This is the latest setback in the attempts to restart the season. Government approval will be essential to completing the campaign and Khan's current stance will pose another problem in any attempts to get the action back underway.
Source : 90min