PM Boris Johnson raises hopes of bumper ‘live’ summer for sports fans as coronavirus roadmap revealed

Sport can begin to plan for the return of fans in the coming months under the ‘road map’ for easing lockdown restrictions, announced by Prime Minister Boris

FINGERS CROSSED: Yorkshire CCC hope to welcome fans back to Emerald Headingley Stadium by May 17. Picture by Ash Allen/SWpix.com

The target of May 17 for allowing at least some fans back into stadiums comes a week before the final day of football’s Premier League – May 23 – great news for the 10 clubs due to be at home, although others must hope to host test events the previous weekend.

The FA Cup final is slated for May 15 and the Championship, League One and League Two seasons wrap up on May 9, but fans could be back for the play-off finals at the end of the month.

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The Carabao Cup final was moved from February to April in the hope of welcoming fans but still comes too soon.

ROADMAP: Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Leon Neal/PA

The target of June 21 to lift all restrictions comes midway through the rearranged Euro 2020 finals, and the day before England are due to face the Czech Republic at Wembley. The national stadium is due to host the final of the tournament on July 11.

In cricket, England begin a two-Test series against New Zealand on June 2 and will now hope to have a number of fans at both Lord’s and Edgbaston.

The stands could then be full when they begin a white-ball series against Sri Lanka, with a T20 international in Cardiff on June 23.

The target of March 29 for grassroots and young people’s sport is also good news for the game at local level.

Fans could return to see the end of Premier League football, is coronavirus restrictions are eased as laid out by prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/NMC Pool/PA

Rugby League’s summer season should mean fans are on hand for much of the campaign, with seasons starting at various levels between March and May.

Stadiums should be full for the highlights of the Challenge Cup final at Wembley in July and the Super League Grand Final on October 9, while in rugby union, clubs could welcome fans for the final rounds of the Premiership season, which ends on June 12.

The target of June 21 for all restrictions to be lifted could hardly be better timed for tennis at Wimbledon, due to begin a week later on June 28. This staple of the British sporting summer was cancelled entirely last year but could now be one of the symbols of a return to normality in the months ahead.

The easing of restrictions will come too soon for golf’s British Masters in mid-May, but fans can look forward to attending the Open Championship at Royal St George in July.

But there was bitter disappointment that local courses will stay closed until Monday, March 29 at the earliest.