Government announces return of elite sport to our living rooms

In late May, the government announced that domestic competitive sport will be allowed behind closed doors from Monday 1st June.

The ‘phase three’ guidance paves the way for live sport to return for the first time since mid-March, however it is up to the individual sports governing bodies to assess the risk, and consult athletes, coaches and support staff.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “The wait is over. Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments”.

Dowden added: “Football, Tennis, Horse Racing, Formula 1, Cricket, Golf, Rugby, Snooker and others are all set to return to our screens shortly”.

“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors. It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters welcomed the decision, adding: “We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on Wednesday 17th June, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Lingfield Park Racecourse, which sits just outside the Sevenoaks District, were quick to Tweet about their first raceday back, stating: “Our first fixture is scheduled for Friday 5th June and we have received 234 entries”.

This return to action will of course please many people who have missed the enjoyment of watching sport on TV, but with no spectators allowed to be present at the venues, we are entering a new world of sport spectatorship and it will be interesting to see how the players respond without that crowd noise.