U.K. to allow soccer, cricket, snooker, horse racing to resume on Monday

'The wait is over'

Updated: May 30, 2020 - 7:38pm

The British government will permit competitive sporting matches to resume next week, allowing players to resume classic English sports such as soccer, cricket, snooker and other well-known fixtures of British sporting life. 

"The wait is over. Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments," Oliver Dowden, the secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said Saturday, adding that the events will be played "behind closed doors."

Sports in the U.K. were cancelled in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread. Sports leagues will be allowed to decide if they want to re-open next week or if they wish to take more time before resuming matches. 

The English Premier League, the U.K.'s top-tier soccer franchise, will begin playing spectator-free matches by June 17. Horse racing and snooker – the latter a billiards-style game – will begin on Monday. 

Authorities and soccer teams are currently working out whether teams will resume play at their own stadiums. Government officials are reportedly worried that players might congregate outside soccer stadiums during games, even if they're not allowed in.