Football: NWSL clubs to begin small group training

Reuters

Posted at May 26 2020 10:38 AM

Sarah Gorden #14 of Chicago Red Stars chases Sam Mewis #5 of North Carolina Courage during the 2019 NWSL Championship game at WakeMed Soccer Park on October 27, 2019 in Cary, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka, Getty Images/AFP

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) said on Monday that clubs can begin small group training sessions as long as they observe local and state government safety requirements put in place to block the spread of COVID-19.

Phase Two of the NWSL's "Return to Play Phased Protocol" will allow teams to train in groups of up to eight and progress to full team training after five days.

Players will also be allowed access to weight rooms, training and meeting rooms.

"Following the advice and counsel of our medical advisors, the NWSL is pleased to be taking the next steps to safely return to competition," NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement on the league's website.

Before being allowed into club facilities all players and staff will have to undergo strict testing procedures including tests for antibodies and daily temperature screening.

Players will be required to arrive in their training gear and wear masks when arriving and departing the facility.

The NWSL could be among the first North American sport leagues to resume play with reports it is targeting a late June return and a single city month-long tournament.

The tournament will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium and Zions Bank Stadium in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, with "regular" COVID-19 testing expected for all participants, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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