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The EFL are working with medical professionals and sports scientists to develop a way to return amid the coronavirus crisis

The Football League are investigating how testing procedures for coronavirus will work if they get the green light to resume action.

A return to competitive football any time soon would only happen behind closed doors and the EFL stress they won’t bring players back unless it is safe to do so.

Gillingham in training before the start of the season
Gillingham in training before the start of the season

Rigorous testing of players and staff will be crucial to completing the 2019/20 season.

The EFL and the Premier League are keen to complete the season but all levels of non-league football have now ended, with the National League clubs voting to end things now.

A statement from the EFL said: “Clearly, before any return to football can take place, suitable testing arrangements for participants must be in place and this is core to our current planning, as is ensuring there is absolutely no negative impact on the country’s front-line workers, the emergency services, league and club staff members.

“The EFL’s medical advisor is working with a select group of medical professionals and sports scientists to ensure their collective expertise is utilised to address these issues.

“This group will consider the latest medical information and evidence from both in the UK and abroad, particularly around the viability and accessibility of the various Covid-19 tests that are currently available.”

Countries around Europe are currently taking different approaches to the crisis, with the top two divisions in the Netherlands being abandoned while in Germany there are plans to restart the Bundesliga campaign early next month.

Gillingham have nine games left to complete their EFL League 1 campaign and have an outside chance of claiming a play-off place.

The EFL have put together a tentative plan to restart in June with players back for training in the middle of May, but all is dependent on government guidelines.

The league say: “The EFL will continue to engage in dialogue with the government, football partners, member clubs and other relevant stakeholders about the evolving situation.

“At this time our operational mitigation and scenario planning is continuing so that when it is appropriate and safe for football to return at EFL Clubs up and down the country, we can make the necessary determinations quickly and with some clarity.

“This work includes the relevant protocols for playing behind closed doors at all 71 clubs and access to those matches for our broadcast partners and supporters.

“The position of the EFL remains unchanged in that the priority is to resume the 2019/20 season as soon as it is possible with matches only returning at an appropriate point and based on guidance from the relevant authorities.The health and well-being of the nation has to come first.”

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