‘The DCMS need to answer questions ASAP unless they want more sports to face collapse’: Government urged to issue guidance quickly on how the four-week lockdown restrictions will impact all sport
- Shadow sports minister has urged Government for advice during lockdown
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week lockdown from Thursday
- Elite sports such as the Premier League can be played behind closed doors
Shadow sports minister Alison McGovern has urged the government to issue guidance on how the new lockdown rules for England will affect sport as quickly as possible.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that the country would be placed into a new four-week lockdown from Thursday until December 2 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Some sports in England have now been left in an uncertain position and must wait for guidance and clarification from the government in light of the announcement – though the Premier League has already been given the green light to continue behind closed doors.
The government have been urged to issue guidance on how lockdown will affect sport
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new four-week lockdown from Thursday
‘Yet again sport and physical wellbeing is an afterthought,’ McGovern tweeted.
‘The [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] need to answer questions ASAP unless they want more sports to face collapse.
‘And we need to see a cross-government effort on physical and mental wellbeing.’
McGovern responded to a tweet from FA Women’s National League (FAWNL) saying they were waiting on guidance about what the new restrictions meant for the competition.
Elite sports such as the Premier League can be played behind closed doors as the rate of infection of covid-19 continues to rise.
It has not yet been stated what can happen with amateur sports, though it is unlikely that they will be allowed to continue.
Leisure facilities such as gyms and pools will close for at least four weeks.
It is not expected that there will be any exemptions for youth sport but children will still be able to participate in sport at school.
Horse racing will continue but betting shops will be closed which will be a huge blow to revenue in the sport.
Elite sports such as the Premier League can be played behind closed doors
There were fears that football could again be required to curtail its league programmes, which would have resulted in further crippling losses to broadcasters.
Asked specifically whether elite football could continue, the Prime Minister said: ‘I can yes to the Premier League with authority.’
It is understood that the successful introduction of elite sport during the last lockdown and the manner in which professional sports have demonstrated that they can safely continue without spreading the virus has played a part in the decision. All elite sport is currently undertaken with strict conditions.
Participants are tested weekly and other figures, such as media and support staff, having to undergo temperature checks and social distancing.
The EFL confirmed it would be continuing, noting the Government’s ‘difficult decision’ and adding that they hoped ‘during this next phase of the crisis, our national sport, negatively affected by Covid-19 like many other industries, can continue to provide some form of welcome distraction and give people in our communities up and down the country a sense of normality in very challenging times.’