FIFA’s Medical Committee Chairman States Season Should not be Played

FIFA’s medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe has said that football should not be played in this season amid the coronavirus pandemic. He even has suggested the governing bodies to prepare for action for the next season.

“My proposal is if it is possible, avoid playing competitive football in the coming weeks,” D’Hooghe told BBC Sport.

“Try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season,” he added.

The comments from FIFA’s chief doctor come as Bundesliga moves towards a possible re-start next month, while the Premier League is hoping for organising the games behind closed doors in June.

“There is a risk and it is not a risk that has small consequences,” said D’Hooghe.

“It can have consequences of life and death and that is why I am so careful and I ask everyone to be very careful before deciding to play again.

“I speak as a medical doctor, I don’t have to speak as an organiser of matches, but for the moment from my medical standpoint I would be very sceptical,” he added.

D’Hooghe said it was too early for players to be coming into contact with one another, at least while social distancing regulations are in place.

“How will you avoid direct contact?” he said. “That is my question.

“For the moment the criteria means it is absolutely difficult to say that we can play competitive football and believe me I regret it profoundly because I am a football man.

“I am a little bit afraid that to have a complete solution we will have to wait until we have a vaccination programme, but I think the time has come now to think of some hygienic rules,” he added.

It has already been announced that French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons will not resume. European leagues have time until May 25 to tell UEFA whether they want to complete or cancel their seasons.

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