RPL and RFU management discuss options for resuming the season with clubs

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The management of the Russian Premier Liga and the Russian Football Union (RFU) discussed with the clubs the main issues of preparation for restarting the championship.

UEFA suggest finishing the season by 2 August

UEFA has suggested that national associations and leagues consider a scenario where the season will need to be completed by 2 August. Nyon has emphasized the need to finish playing championships and determine the participants of European competitions on a sporting basis.

Leagues were asked to develop calendars for the current and next seasons so that the list of participants in European competition 2020/21 season would be sent to UEFA by 3 August. For RPL clubs, qualification for European tournaments begins with the second qualifying round, which is currently scheduled for 11-13 August.

UEFA advises national associations and leagues to submit information on options for continuing the season by 25 May.

RPL and clubs consider options for league calendars

The RPL offered clubs two versions of the calendar, which are based on the recommendation of UEFA to end the championships by 2 August. In one, the launch is scheduled for 21 June. The first two matchdays would be scheduled regularly in a once-weekly cycle to ease the load on the players. Then five matchdays would be played on a twice-weekly basis with midweek fixtures, while the last matchday would be played a full week after the penultimate fixtures.

Another option is to resume on 28 June with a full week after the first matchday back, and then to schedule the remaining seven rounds on a twice-weekly basis. Both options are set up taking into account the possible completion of the Russian Cup, the decision on which will be made by the RFU.

RFU & RPL are working on the return of foreign employees & players

The current restrictions on foreign citizens entering Russia are valid until 1 May. The RFU and RPL are monitoring the government's decisions and are working on options for returning club employees and players who have left our country. Any of the scenarios imply compliance with all the requirements of the executive authorities for quarantine and self-isolation.

RPL & RFU discuss with clubs how to start training

The RPL and RFU have studied the various restrictions of the authorities and will form recommendations for players training based on them. They will touch on the specifics of conducting individual training sessions in quarantine and self-isolation, as well as medical testing of players. The document will also specify the conditions under which clubs can start group sessions, and then go to full-fledged team sessions at training grounds.

The RPL and RFU plan to develop these recommendations together with Rospotrebnadzor, the government body responsible for human wellbeing. The proposals will be relevant if the authorities weaken or completely cancel the decrees that currently restrict team training.

RPL develops rules for holding matches without spectators while maintaining restrictions

The RPL is working on a draft regulation for holding matches without spectators in case restrictions on holding mass events remain. It will describe all important aspects of organizing the championship within the current restrictions on holding mass events. This includes the procedure for allowing participants of matches, club employees, and the main broadcaster to enter the stadium's territory and stands.

RFU submits working versions of promotion and relegation

The RPL and RFU discussed several options for promotion and relegation between the RPL and the FNL. If the current RPL season is completed, then at the end of the season, two clubs will be relegated without promotion/relegation play-offs and the top two clubs in the FNL will directly replace them. However, they will have to meet the licensing criteria.

If the regional epidemiological situation does not allow us to finish the season, then the top two FNL clubs will join the current 16 RPL clubs for next season in the top flight. They will also have to meet licensing criteria. Due to the density of the calendar, in this case, the 2020/21 season would be held without Russian Cup matches, and at the end of it, the RPL would return to a format with 16 clubs.

These options are being developed by the RFU and RPL working group. The final decision will be made by the Executive Committee or the RFU Bureau.


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