Coronavirus: Championship set for June 20 return


The Championship is set to return on the weekend of June 20, the English Football League (EFL) has announced. 

English football's second tier is primed to follow in the footsteps of the Premier League after the provisional restart date was confirmed by the governing body. 

The Premier League's resumption date is set for just three days earlier. In both divisions, all matches will be played behind closed doors as the threat of coronavirus remains. 

In a statement released on Sunday, the EFL stressed that fixtures could only resume on the hoped-for date if "all safety requirements and government guidance is met". 

Furthermore, clubs must have clearance from local authorities to host matches. 

The EFL wants a revised schedule to tie in closely with that of the top flight, with promotion and relegation issues at hand. 

It hopes the play-off final, described as the richest game in football, will take place "on or around July 30". 

EFL chair Rick Parry said: "We must stress that at this stage the date is only provisional and will only be confirmed once we have met all the requirements, as the health, safety and well-being of all participants, staff and supporters remains our top priority. 

"Clearly completing the season in a safe manner is going to require a significant effort by all concerned and, whilst not unprecedented, it will need clubs to play a significant number of matches over a relatively short period of time." 

The EFL has proposed teams will be allowed to make five substitutions per game, with matchday squads increased from 18 to 20 players. Discussions will continue with Championship clubs over the suggested changes.

The Championship saw 10 individuals test positive for coronavirus after tests on Thursday and Friday.

Leeds United and West Brom occupy the two automatic promotion spots in the table. 

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