The most memorable moment of action in both games-Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday got things rolling earlier in the day, before the ball was kicked off.
Refereeing officials and coaching members of staff of the four teams involved in Wednesday’s games also took a knee, while all the players wore shirts with their names replaced by the words “Black Lives Matter,” a tribute to the movement which has grown in prominence since George Floyd’s death.
The Premier League, which is the richest soccer league in the world with massive viewership was suspended in March 13 due to Coronavirus pandemic and after some players and coaches like Arsena Manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus.
The virus, which has been spreading rapidly around Europe and the UK, forced soccer authorities to halt the soccer matches as a measure to prevent both the players and the fans from contracting the virus.
The most memorable moment came right after the opening whistle, as the game began with every player taking a knee in a tribute to George Floyd, who was killed by a policeman in Minneapolis last month. All the players also had their names on their shirts replaced with “Black Lives Matter.”
Before the game, there was a minute’s silence to honor those who have died in the pandemic.
At the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, as well as taking a knee, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also raised his fist as the Gabon international paid homage to a symbol of black protest and liberation.
Notably, Olympic medal winners John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City during the US national anthem.
The gesture has been adopted many times since, and many have raised their fists during the Black Lives Matter protests in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.
It was a poignant way to mark the resumption of the Premier League, which comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government faces criticism for not ordering a nationwide lockdown until March 23 and for easing restrictions in England too soon, given still-high levels of new cases and deaths. The United Kingdom has recorded more than 42,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Twitch is hugely popular with gamers and Amazon thinks its chat feature will enable users to behave like pundits and share their views on the match as it happens. It is the first time Twitch, which Amazon acquired for $970M in 2014, has been used to show Premier League football.
Amazon will also make games available for free through Prime Video after securing an additional four fixtures as part of the Premier League’s coronavirus restart strategy. Its coverage gets underway with Crystal Palace vs Burnley on June 29.
Although fans won’t be allowed in stadiums, many games will be available to watch on free TV – partly to keep fans from gathering by the thousands outside stadiums.
The Premier League plans to finish the remaining 92 games of its season by July 26. There are also contingency plans for what to do if a second wave of infections causes another shutdown, but not about how to resolve an incomplete season.
The second division in England will also resume this weekend, while the third and fourth divisions will play only playoffs. The women’s league and the lower men’s leagues were all canceled.
The Premier League top four took some wild turns over the last few days with Chelsea and Leicester hammered at Sheffield United an Bournemouth respectively, while Man United coughed up a late lead at home to Southampton.
Pressure is starting to show as the final 270 minutes of the season is here.
With Manchester City no longer banned from UEFA competitions, only the top four teams will qualify for the Champions League for next season as fifth-place was set to be included in the UCL.
Below we look at the current standings in the top four race and the remaining schedule for the teams still in with a chance of finishing in fourth.
Once all the national leagues are done, the country’s beloved FA Cup final will be held on Aug. 1.