LONDON: The Premier League’s official broadcasters say the competition will restart on June 17, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No matches have been played since Leicester City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9, with Liverpool just two wins away from securing the title. But the BBC and Sky Sports said on Thursday there will be a doubleheader on June 17 with Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United, which are both games in hand.

Playing those make-up games on a Wednesday will ensure the 30th round can be contested the following weekend.

A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June, the reports said. All games will be behind closed-doors.

A spokesman for the Premier League declined to comment as the meeting of 20 club officials was ongoing.

Top-flight clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to return to contact training and were meeting again on Thursday to discuss issues such as the restart date and the rebate to broadcasters.

The Premier League was suspended on 13 March due to the coronavirus pandemic but teams returned to small group training last week.

So far, 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the Premier League.

Germany’s Bundesliga resumed earlier this month and La Liga in Spain hopes to return from June 11, while a crucial summit between Italian football officials and the country’s sports minister was being held later on Thursday.

Liverpool were 25 points clear of 2019 champions Manchester City when the Premier league was shut down, on the verge of being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years.

Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2020