Coronavirus: Sports in talks with government over return of fans

By Laura ScottBBC Sport
ockey Cieren Fallon wearing a protective face mask at Newmarket racecourse
Protective masks were worn by jockeys at the recent meeting at Newmarket which was held behind closed doors

A group of major sports has "started working" with government experts on how the return of fans might work.

No timescale has yet been set for crowds being allowed inside venues, but representatives of football, cricket, rugby and horse racing have been part of discussions.

It is understood the meetings will cover both the operational and medical factors in fans' return.

Sports have so far only been able to resume behind closed doors.

David Armstrong, chief executive of the Racecourses Association (RCA), will be part of the consultation with government and told BBC Sport he was hopeful racing could lead the way.

"We were very proud to be the first ones back behind closed doors and we would love to be the first ones back to crowds in whatever form that is," he told BBC Sport, adding that racing's "open-air environment" might give it an advantage.

However, he said sports were not expecting fans back "very soon" and no timetable had been developed.

"It's too early really to say yet whether there is any picture of how long that piece of string might be," he said.