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English football targets June 6 return to action behind closed doors - sources

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Ogden: 'Hopeful times' as June return date looks likely for PL (1:40)

Mark Ogden thinks the Premier League is likely to follow in the footsteps of the EFL, which aims to return June 6. (1:40)

English football is aiming to resume at the beginning of June, with sources telling ESPN that clubs in the EFL are working towards June 6 as a date for the return of competitive action, though matches would be behind closed doors.

Football across Europe, with the exception of the Belarus Premier League, remains suspended due to the coronavirus crisis that has led to many national governments imposing a state of lockdown which restrict the movement of the population and forbid public gatherings.

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While football in Italy and Spain remains suspended indefinitely, the authorities in Germany have allowed clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to return to training, ahead of plans for games to take place behind closed doors from early May.

A video conference of all 20 Premier League clubs is due to take place this Friday in order to discuss and outline a tentative schedule for the resumption of the league in the coming weeks.

But sources have told ESPN that the EFL, which includes the Championship, League One and League Two, is working towards games being played from June 6 onwards after an initial three-week mini preseason starting on May 16.

Sources have told ESPN that the EFL plans depend entirely on government advice and the extent of the lockdown measures in the United Kingdom, but there is optimism that football can return by the beginning of June, albeit behind closed doors.

The Championship, led by Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United, still has nine match-days to play in order to complete the season.

Leeds, who have not played in the Premier League since being relegated in 2004, sit one point clear of West Brom in second, and seven ahead of Fulham in third, in the race for promotion to the Premier League.