Tuesday 30 June 2020 12:43 pm

Premier League could move or postpone Leicester home games due to lockdown

The Premier League is waiting to hear whether the newly imposed lockdown in Leicester will force the club to postpone home games or move them to a new venue.

The league’s chief executive Richard Masters was quizzed by MPs on the situation following the government’s decision to impose a stricter lockdown in the city after a rise in coronavirus infections.

Read more: Football is in ‘rescue mode’ says Premier League boss

Giving evidence to the DCMS committee, Masters said: “We are waiting to hear,” but said “just about every eventuality” had been discussed by DCMS and league officials.

The league has contingencies in place to move matches to neutral venues or “postpone them until it is safe to do so”. Leicester City is due to host Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday at 3pm.

Before Masters addressed the committee, health secretary Matt Hancock gave this weekend’s game the green light but did not state where the game would take place.

“I am perfectly happy to let the Premier League take care of that,” he said.

“I am sure they will tell us where and when the game should be played. I am certain if they can’t play at Leicester, they will find an alternative,” he added.

Yesterday, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said the club “will react accordingly” before the lockdown measures were imposed.

A fresh spate of coronavirus cases has seen Leicester enter the first local lockdown of the pandemic, with nearly 1,000 cases confirmed in the last fortnight.

The lockdown measures mean all non-essential shops will shut today, while schools will close for most pupils on Thursday. The planned reopening of pubs and restaurants will not happen this weekend as planned.

Read more: Leicester enters local lockdown after coronavirus outbreak

Masters also addressed the scenes in Liverpool last week, after they were crowned champions of the league. He said: “We’re not in control of people’s actions and it’s possible to celebrate with social distancing… Maybe lots of people left their homes that night with the intention of doing just that”.

He noted that the scenes were similar to those of gatherings on beaches and street parties. “I see it as an extension of that,” Masters said. “Individuals have to take responsibility for their actions… We are in constant dialogue with all of our clubs around these issues”.

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