Retrieved 14 May 2020, 23:08 IST
The Premier League must be back in June after positive discussions between the government and the main governing body of English football.
Culture editor Oliver Dowden revealed that Thursday’s meeting with the Football Association, the Premier League and the English Football League proved fruitful.
Although behind closed doors due to the coronavirus crisis, with a date set to resume work on 12 June, the English top flight was called in earlier in the week to discuss a ‘project restart’.
And after the latest talks between the major partners, that hope remains.
“We all agree that we will move forward only if it is safe to do so and the health and well-being of the players, coaches and staff comes first,” Dowden said.
“Now their football authorities need to agree and finalize the details of their plans, and they have the collective will to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.”
“The government and our medical experts will continue to provide guidance and assistance in this game.”
Professional play is off across the UK amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
The Premier League was halted in March, with most clubs having only nine games left to play and some recently returning to training under the strict social distance system.
Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: “There will be small, carefully measurable, step-by-step approaches to seeing what can be achieved safely. The first is to return to safe training, still monitoring social distance.
“We have to see how it goes before we even think about going back to a competitive football match.”