Everton vs Liverpool to go ahead at Goodison Park on June 21
Written by MaryGift Sunday on June 10, 2020
The Merseyside derby will go ahead on June 21 at Goodison Park behind closed doors, and not at a neutral venue, it has been confirmed.
The ground safety advisory group at Liverpool City Council met on Wednesday and has approved a safety certificate to allow the match to go ahead at Everton’s home ground.
Discussions were also held between the Council and Merseyside Police, Liverpool and Everton football clubs as well as the Spirit of Shankly and Blue Union supporters groups, regarding the fulfilment of public health protocols for the match.
The fixture was previously on a list of games which had been requested by local police forces to be played at a neutral venue amid public health fears, due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the UK’s football police lead Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts.
In the initial round of Premier League fixtures published last Friday, the venue was marked as ‘TBC’ but all matches in the top flight’s restart confirmed so far been given the all-clear to be played at usual home venues.
Liverpool, who currently hold a 25-point lead ahead of second-placed Manchester City, could seal the title with victory at Goodison Park, if Pep Guardiola’s side are beaten by Arsenal on June 17.
Liverpool welcome decision
In a statement, Liverpool welcomed the decision to host the match at Goodison, adding that: “Further dialogue between all partners is scheduled this week and together will provide clear and regular updates for supporters throughout this process.
“We would like to thank the Chair, the elected members of GSAG, and all those people who have been working tirelessly in the background for their support as we take the next step to completing the 2019/20 Premier League season.”
Councillor Wendy Simon, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of the Ground Safety Advisory Group (GSAG), said: “We are satisfied that the considerable evidence and guidance provided by the Government, Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, Public Health colleagues and Merseyside Police will ensure that the outstanding fixtures for the 2019/20 Premier League season can be safely and securely played at both Goodison Park and Anfield.
“A lot of factors have been taken into consideration by the GSAG, especially the safety of the players, match officials and staff in attendance at both stadia.
“We are confident the measures in place will allow the matches to be held behind closed doors without any detrimental impact to all concerned and recommend to the city council that the safety certificates for both grounds be amended to allow this to happen.
“I’m sure fans of both teams will welcome this recommendation and, subject to ratification, we look forward to watching the first of these matches – the Merseyside derby on 21 June – which will be broadcast live on free-to-air TV for the first time since the Premier League began.
“We would also advise that everyone, wherever they may be watching these fixtures, to strongly adhere to the guidance on social distancing around the current COVID-19 pandemic and for not only these matches but the wider relaxation measures anticipated for the city.”