David Pemsel, the chief executive of the Premier League, this morning confirmed the league season would be completed on the video game FIFA.
The Premier League was suspended in March due to Coronavirus, and had a tentative date of early April to renew playing. However, with the virus showing no signs of slowing down that date was moved to 30th April, with Premier League bosses today admitting that also would not happen.
In a bid to conclude the season on time, the remaining fixtures will now be played on the PlayStation 4, on FIFA 20, over one weekend later this month.
Each team will select one player from their active squad list to represent them in the games, which will be played online and streamed live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The Premier League’s David Pemsel commented:
This was the only solution that allowed us to finish the season on time. We feel we’ve reached a compromise that suits everybody, the clubs, players, fans and the TV networks.
The games lasting only 12 minutes plus stoppage time means every single fixture can be broadcast live, creating a truly breathtaking weekend of live sport.
The first match to be broadcast will be the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool, with both sides currently holding mini trials with their players to find the player who will represent them during the season finale.
Liverpool need just six points to clinch the title, but with Manchester City being represented by FIFA-obsessed Raheem Sterling, the current champions are expected to hit maximum points in the title run-in.
Manchester United are reported to be struggling to select a player, with club captain Harry Maguire insisting he should represent the club, despite only having FIFA 95 on the Sega Mega Drive.
Sky Sports and BT Sport will be choosing the matches they will broadcast later this week, with subscribers able to watch every game under their current package.
Should the move prove successful, it is believed other European leagues will follow suit. It could even open the door for Euro 20 to be moved back to its original slot this summer, rather than being postponed to later in the year.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is also looking at a way they can push ahead with the Tokyo Olympics this summer by playing Konami‘s Track & Field from 1983.