New inspection program introduced for EFL soccer training grounds

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The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) has started a new program with the English Football League (EFL) to inspect COVID-19 protocols at training grounds and stadiums for the 2020/21 season.

The program, which is being funded by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), will see SGSA Inspectors attend EFL training grounds and ensure compliance with the protocols in place.

The implications of the loss of gate receipts has, and will continue to, place a considerable financial strain on Clubs, which has now resulted in a collaborative and combined approach between the EFL, PFA and the SGSA to testing across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.

PFA Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor OBE, stated: “The PFA has committed to pay for audits for the remainder of the season and will work closely with the EFL to ensure that clubs can continue to fulfil their fixtures.

“From the outset of the COVID outbreak, the concerns for the welfare and safety of players and all club staff has remained the PFA’s top priority.”

EFL Chief Executive, David Baldwin, said: “To ensure the continued safeguarding of players and club staff, we are looking to introduce visits to help support Clubs in assessing compliance with their own operational plans and risk assessments.

“The funding from the PFA will allow us to not only highlight the positive aspects of the protocols, but also to pick up on any areas of improvement to continue the fulfilment of fixtures in the 2020/21 season.”

SGSA Chief Executive, Martyn Henderson, said: “The SGSA is committed to ensuring that high safety standards are met at elite football matches. This collaboration will allow for players, staff and officials to have confidence in the safety of their surroundings for the 2020/21 season.”

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