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Project Restart: What is the state of play in Europe’s top leagues?

lionel messi
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Some football seasons are over but other leagues are making plans to return. This is the current situation around Europe.

England – Premier League

The Premier League is continuing to work towards a June return as training plans step up and testing continues.

Clubs have begun phase one training under strict social distancing measures but clubs now face a key vote on Wednesday May 27 over contact training.

In a wide-ranging interview, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said clubs had discussed the need for four weeks of group training and admitted plans would be “flexible” when asked about a June 12 target to return to action.

Championship clubs are due to return to training from May 25 following the first round of testing.

Two individuals from Hull returned positive tests and will now self-isolate before being tested again. Players have been given the option of testing from home or being tested by club medical staff or external professionals.

There is still no testing programme or plan in place for League One or League Two clubs so they will not restart training yet – however pitches can be opened for individuals to work on.

In terms of finishing the season, the EFL board have looked at three different situations currently facing the Championship, League One and League Two, in determining how to conclude the 2019/20 campaign.

League One remains the most contentious issue, with the 23 clubs failing to agree to a way forward for concluding the season.

ITALY Serie A clubs have voted to resume the season on June 13, pending approval from the Italian government. Sixteen clubs voted in favour of that date during a league assembly, while the remaining four voted to resume the season the following weekend, on June 20.

The current campaign will be completed by August 20 to allow the Coppa Italia to be concluded by the end of August and a new season to start on September 1, Italian football chiefs have agreed.

Should the Serie A season be halted again, the Federation will seek a new format to determine the final standings, including short play-off rounds to establish league champions, European places and relegation

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said La Liga can resume from June 8, with La Liga president Javier Tebas already stating his aim to play games every day of the week to get the league finished as quickly as possible.

Clubs in the top two divisions of Spanish football are back training in groups of up to 10 people and can train with full squads from June 1.

France – Ligue 1
PSG have been handed their seventh league title in eight years
PSG have been handed their seventh league title in eight years
Paris Saint-Germain have been awarded the Ligue 1 title after the season was ended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG, who have now won their seventh French title in the last eight years, held a 12-point lead over second-placed Marseille when the season was suspended in March.

Plans had originally been drawn up for the league to resume on June 17 and conclude on July 25, but the French top flight follows the Dutch Eredivisie as the second major European league season to be abandoned.

Belgium – Pro League
In Belgium, Club Brugge could be declared champions
In Belgium, Club Brugge could be declared champions
The Belgian Pro League season is over after the General Assembly voted to accept finalising the league table with each club having played 29 games.

Club Brugge have been crowned champions and will enter the group stage of the 2020/21 Champions League, while Gent finish second and go into Champions League qualifying and Sporting Charleroi, Royal Antwerp and Standard Liege go into the Europa League.

Portugal – Primeira Liga
Portugal’s government says the country’s top-flight football league, the Primeira Liga, will be allowed to resume on May 30.

Nacional and Farense have been promoted to Portugal’s top-flight after it was decided the Segunda Division campaign would be ended. Piedada and Casa Pia have been relegated from the Segunda Division.

Denmark – Superliga
Denmark’s top-flight Superliga will recommence at the end of May
Denmark’s top-flight Superliga will recommence at the end of May
Denmark’s top-flight Superliga will resume on May 28. The Danish League Association has said it expects the campaign to conclude with the Europa League playoff game on July 29.

The league will restart with the final match of the 21st round of fixtures between third-placed AGF Aarhus and Randers, who are seventh. That match was postponed earlier in the season.

Champions League & Europa League
When will UEFA’s showpiece finals be played?
When will UEFA’s showpiece finals be played?
UEFA is considering proposals which would see the Champions League final being played three months later than scheduled at the end of August.

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