English football's second division set for June 20 restart

English football's second division set for June 20 restart

Sunday, May 31, 2020

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — English football's second-tier Championship is due to resume behind closed doors on June 20 after league officials agreed Sunday on a provisional return date.

The Premier League announced on Thursday the top-flight season will restart on June 17 following the coronavirus suspension that brought football to a standstill in mid-March.

The English Football League (EFL), which governs the three divisions below the Premier League, said the Championship would return around the same time, provided that all safety requirements are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Following Saturday's announcement by the government to allow elite sporting events to return behind closed doors, the EFL has this weekend agreed to a provisional restart date of the weekend of 20 June 2020 for matches in the Sky Bet Championship," it said in a statement.

"The date is subject to the strict proviso that all safety requirements and government guidance is met; and that clubs receive clearance from their local authorities in order to stage matches at their home grounds."

It added: "After discussing various approaches, and, the importance of completing the season in a similar timeline to that of the Premier League to avoid any potential issues with promoted and relegated clubs, the Sky Bet Championship season is set to conclude with the Championship play-off final on or around 30 July 2020."

Leeds led West Brom by a point at the top of the table when the season was suspended with nine rounds of matches still to play.

Fulham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston occupied the promotion play-off spots.

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