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Reports: Premier League clubs could finish season at home grounds

Getty ImagesClubs in English soccer’s top-flight Premier League could be allowed to play their remaining fixtures at their home stadiums, according to UK media reports. Premier League teams had previously been told that the only way for the 2019/20 season to be completed would be with games played behind closed doors at eight to ten approved neutral venues. The UK government and police had reportedly recommended using neutral venues for the remaining 92 games to prevent fans gathering outside home grounds and to avoid placing any potential strain on the emergency services. However, as first reported by the Daily Mail, the Premier League and England’s other major soccer bodies have now held positive talks with the UK’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), police and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, which could now pave the way for clubs to finish the season at their own stadiums. Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, who heads up the UK’s national policing unit for soccer, had previously told clubs to “get a grip” over neutral venues, but now appears open to the use of home grounds. In a statement to the Press Association, Roberts said: “Following a positive meeting between police, government and football last night, we will be jointly exploring a range of options to identify a way forward, which minimises any risks to public safety and unnecessary pressure on public services, but facilitates a sensible restart to the season, to support the economic and morale benefits associated with the sport.

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