• Hudson-Odoi back in Chelsea training despite arrest


    Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was pictured at Cobham having had a negative test days after he was arrested following allegations of rape. Both Chelsea and Hudson-Odoi have yet to comment after the news emerged on Sunday night, as the player return to training.

    19 of the 20 Premier League clubs were screened for Covid-19 on Sunday and Monday with the pandemic having disrupted football across the United Kingdom and Europe.

    The players were given their results at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon and Chelsea opted to train from 4pm after Frank Lampard instructed his players to immediately return upon being cleared.

    The session marked Chelsea’s first day back on the training ground in groups for 72 days, having been allowed to do solo sessions with a doctor present in recent weeks since lockdown was introduced in London.

    The Blues players still have to follow phase one of the Premier League’s strict protocols which were agreed on Monday in a video conference call for their sessions.

    They will work in groups of five in non-contact sessions while maintaining social distancing. All training equipment will be disinfected, kit will be delivered to players’ homes so they don’t need to use the dressing rooms, and designated parking spaces have been allocated.

    There will then be another phase to be voted on by the 20 Premier League clubs to loosen restrictions to get ready to resume the season.

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says he is flexible on a return date for the Premier League after aiming to restart for June 12.

    “I think once you know when you can start full contact training, and we’ve had a proper discussion about clubs over how much is required to create the fitness levels before they can start playing, you’re then in a position to confirm when the season start date is,” he said.

    “We haven’t changed the start date; we have to be flexible about it. What we don’t want to do is continually to move that start date. So, we haven’t changed it but we need to be flexible and acknowledge we’re in a step-by-step process.”

    In a statement, the Premier League said: “This first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors, independent experts and the government.

    “Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.

    “The health and wellbeing of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process. Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.”

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