UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has placed the country under another national lockdown to last until the end of February, 2021, under 4-tier lockdown rules. It’s quite interesting that the 4-tier lockdown restrictions exclude participants in “elite” sports. Stay-at-home mandates exempt not only players but also employees of firms that provide products or services that allow elite sports teams to carry on with their closed-door matches.
Premier League Assures Football Fans There’ll be No Pause
Through a statement released as early as December 30, 2020, the Premier League has made it clear that there are no discussions about pausing the ongoing season playoffs.
Both the FA Cup and the Premier League and FA Cup will continue during the new national lockdown, being among those classified as elite sports exempted under the Tier 4 rules, where it states the sporting franchise classified as “elite” sport is granted an exemption from the lockdown mandate.
The decision stays in place despite the increasing number of cases in the camps of several football clubs. In fact, outbreaks in the Everton and Manchester City clubs in the past weeks resulted in the postponement of their fixtures. Yet, this has not deterred the Premier League from continuing with the top level football games held behind closed doors.
According to league officials, they have already instituted rigorous testing procedures and other mitigation measures to enhance social distancing, for them to avoid suspending the season playoffs for a second time.
Prior to PM Johnson’s announcements and amid speculations of a second national lockdown, the Premie League already had confidence that they have the government’s support in case they will insist to continue. In October, the British Minister said he can say yes to the Premier League in the event that a second national lockdown takes effect.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Oliver Dowden himself, publicly confirmed that elite sporting activities would not be forced to stop. While people employed in organizations where work-from-home is possible will perform work at home; while those constrained to report for work will be given permission to travel. To which the Secretary cited as examples, elite sports players, crew members, and workers of telecommunication networks, as well as film and TV production outfits.
Online Sports Betting Sites Heave a Sigh of Relief
Online sports betting sites are of course appreciative of the Premier League’s steadfast decision, as that would mean their sportsbook can likewise continue to include the Premier League fixtures in gambling markets. Football betting on UK’s top-level games is still the most sought after, not only among the UK and European betting sites but also in Asia.
In fact in Indonesia, Bwin-Bet65’s soccer betting remains accessible to Indonesian punters, through local agents who maintain judi bola websites that can connect to the UK’s sports server.