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'Shorter Halves Could be Considered When Football Resumes' – England PFA Chief

Gordon Taylor, the Chief of the Professional Footballers’ Association in England, has even claimed that football matches could feature halves shorter than the usual 45 minutes if the Premier League is resumed in mid-June.

The Premier League, which is the top level of English professional football, has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s football association has however outlined that they plan for the Premier League to restart in June, should it be safe to do so, after UEFA, Europe’s football governing body, gave clubs under its jurisdiction until May the 25th to declare whether they want to play out the rest of their campaigns.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’S “Today” broadcast Taylor commented on the potential conditions that could be in place to allow the league to restart.

“We don't know the future but we do know what propositions have been put, what ideas have been put - the possibility of having more substitutes, games possibly not being the full 45 minutes each way, talks of neutral stadiums,” Taylor stated.

The PFA chief added that any resumption of play should be as seamless as possible.

“Ideally, you want to keep the integrity of the competition, and of course, that was about playing home and away and having the same squad of players as before it was suspended.”

Taylor concluded however that his priority is ensuring that the player’s themselves would be safe come mid-June

“There are lots of points to be made, but above all, can the seasons be completed and can they be completed safely?"

The Premier League is expected to publish its own guideline for how clubs can safely return to training after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally announces the UK’s coronavirus lockdown exit plan this coming Sunday.

If for whatever reason, it becomes clear that it would not be safe for the football season to continue; then numerous alternative solutions have been proposed, such as rendering the campaign “null and void” and starting again when it is safe to do so, or simply leaving the final table as it stood when the league was called off in March.

Both scenarios could spark legal challenges from clubs at the top and bottom of the Premier League respectively, and it remains to be seen whether the season will realistically still be able to get underway once again in June.

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