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UK government 'stepping up plans' for the return of sport

By Tom Walker    01 May 2020
The meeting was attended by representatives of football and a number of other major sports / Shutterstock

The UK government has begun stepping up its plans for the return of sport, according to culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

Dowden revealed that the DCMS today (1 May) held the "first of many" virtual meetings with medical experts from professional and elite sports organisations and Public Health England.

The meeting was attended by representatives of football, cricket, horseracing, rugby union and UK Sport – representing Olympic and Paralympic sports – as well as the Sports Ground Safety Authority.

Among those attending the meeting – which was held behind closed doors – were the deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam and UK Sport CEO Sally Munday.

"We held an initial, constructive meeting with medical representatives from a number of professional and elite sports bodies, government and PHE," he said.

"This was to step up planning on what may need to be done so that athletes could return to training, when it is deemed safe to do so.

"The training will be ahead of any return to competitive top-level sport which would only happen when medical experts advise that this can be done safely. Discussions with the sports bodies will continue on this.

"Lots to consider, but today we step up planning."

The meeting comes ahead of a DCMS committee inquiry next week – chaired by Julian Knight MP – which will begin to look into the impact coronavirus has had on sport.

Taking place on Tuesday 5 May, the committee is set to hear from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison, English Football League chairman Rick Parry, RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney, UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger and Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth.

Oliver Dowden  England and Wales Cricket Board  ECB  Football League  RFU  UK Sport  Sport England 
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