Premier League doctors ‘seriously concerned’ over Project Restart
Clubs medics claim guidelines for resuming the season ‘still carry risk of death’
A coalition of Premier League club doctors have written to football officials to voice fears over the potential risks of recommencing the English top flight during the coronavirus pandemic.
At least four doctors have contacted the league’s chief medical adviser, Mark Gillett, with questions about “protocols designed to guarantee a safe return to training and, should government advice allow, full competition”, The Guardian reports.
At least one of the doctors is known to have “serious concerns” about “whether football can be made safe in the near future”, the newspaper says.
Medical specialists are due to talk to players and managers from every Premier League team next week in a bid “to ease fears about the dangers of resuming the season”, according to The Times.
But in the meantime, the group of club doctors have complied a list of questions for Premier League authorities, including concerns over the “issue of liability insurance should someone in their care become seriously ill or even die”, the newspaper says.
In an email to the league, they reportedly ask: “As doctors, how can we ‘approve’ guidelines that still carry risk of death?”
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The season has been suspended since 13 March in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, but is set to resume behind closed doors under plans dubbed “Project Restart”.
Should appropriate safety procedures be agreed, the league plans to air live most of the almost 200 remaining matches in the Premier League and Championship from June.
The government is understood to support the plan, with Dominic Raab saying that the return of professional football would “lift the spirits of the nation”.