Government in talks with Premier League about plans to restart football actionThe Government is working with competition organisers such as the Premier League on their plans to restart action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Professional football in England has been suspended since March 13, with no date fixed for it to return.
The Covid-19 outbreak means that if football is able to resume, it will almost certainly do so behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said discussions were taking place but stressed again that scientific advice would be key to any resumption
Dowden was questioned by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain about whether the Government had been too slow to impose a ban on mass gatherings, with the Cheltenham Festival allowed to go ahead between March 10 and 13 and the Liverpool v Atletico Madrid Champions League tie being played in front of supporters on March 11.
“The scientific evidence we were being given was that, at a mass gathering, the threat at a mass gathering relates to the people who immediately surround you – the people in front of you and behind you,” he said.
“The risk at mass gatherings was no greater or less than it would have been in pubs or restaurants, and the advice at that point was that we did not need to ban mass gatherings.”
Asked whether the advice was wrong, the Cabinet minister replied: “As the situation developed, the scientific advice changed and we changed our guidance off the back of it.
“But mass gatherings are not different to any of those other events I described and at the appropriate moment we took the decision to close pubs, to close restaurants.”