The Premier League has unanimously voted to allow contact training after a meeting this morning. It seems that they have significantly increased the amount of contact allowed by players than was previously anticipated during phase 2.
We were initially under the impression that the next phase of Project Restart would still forbid tackling. However, according to a statement from the Premier League, tackling will now be permitted.
Sky Sports has published the following statement from the league.
“Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.
“Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimizing any unnecessary close contact.
“The Premier League’s priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.
“Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible, and players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
“Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA, and the Government.
“Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season when conditions allow.”
It was reported recently that phase 2 involved increasing the number of players on a pitch from 5 to 10 as well as allowing teammates to press while in possession. However, tackling would be implemented as part of phase 3.
But today’s decision to allow tackling could be in response to the encouraging results from the second round of testing in which only 2 individuals tested positive.
This represents another significant step in getting this season back underway.