London Mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed his angst with the decision for football to return, claiming that fans will break the social distancing rules in order to try and catch a glimpse of their favourite stars, with Tottenham v Arsenal scheduled.
The Coronavirus pandemic has curtailed football for over two months, with fears that the virus will be spread amidst the chaos, but the Premier League is believed to have a plan together to finally return to action.
Arsenal are set to be amongst those first back in action, with their catch-up game with Manchester City set to take place on June 17, before a full fixture list is to take place the following weekend.
This week it was also announced that should the league not return to action, a points-per-game system would be used to calculate the final standings, but if all safety concerns are kept to, you would hope that this would not be the case.
Mayor Khan however has concerns that despite measures in place to protect the players, including not having fans inside stadiums, fans will still flock to try and catch sight of their favourite players.
“I am concerned about any action that could inadvertently lead to the virus spreading,” he said.
“Let me make a confession. Even though I’m a south Londoner, I support Liverpool and that’s why a small part of my brain is keen for us to return.
“But actually the bigger part of my brain is saying safety is what matters. We don’t want to inadvertently, for the best of intentions – all of us need cheering up, there’s nothing more joyous for sports fans than watching sport on TV, even without the crowds – but we need to make sure we don’t inadvertently give an opportunity to the virus to spread.
“I know, human nature as it is, fans will turn up to see the coach arriving, to listen to the atmosphere – the players inside the stadium even though they’re not allowed in, to see the coach leaving, to buy t-shirts and scarves, police and councils need to enforce the rules.
“The overwhelming measures to social distancing are still there, the overwhelming measures to lockdown are still there. The key thing has got to be what is safe.
“We can’t have fans congregating around the stadiums. We don’t want Premier League clubs in London to have fans congregating… we’ve got Tottenham vs Arsenal coming up. It’s really important clubs work with police and others to make sure we get this right.”
Common sense will hopefully prevail with the majority, although there is still talk that some games could be moved to neutral grounds to combat this.
Will fans be unable to resist the temptation to hit the streets in order to try and feast their eyes on their best players? Will they be stupid enough to try and ask for autographs etc?