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FIFA medical chief wary of resuming season

By The Assam Tribune

LONDON, April 29: The chairman of FIFA�s medical committee has said he is �sceptical� about restarting league football during the coronavirus pandemic and suggested national competitions concentrate on getting ready for next season instead.

There has been talk of Germany�s Bundesliga and England�s Premier League resuming behind closed doors.

But Michel D�Hooghe, the head of global governing body FIFA�s medical panel, told the BBC on Tuesday: �My proposal is if it is possible, avoid playing competitive football in the coming weeks. Try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season.�

Dutch football chiefs have already abandoned this season�s Eredivisie, with no promotion or relegation, while the future of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 campaign was thrown into doubt when the French Prime Minister said on Tuesday that no major sport in the country could take place until the end of the summer.

Meanwhile D�Hooghe warned too quick a resumption of football could have �consequences of life and death�.

The Belgian added: �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.�

D�Hooghe said playing football in the absence of a vaccine would create problems in upholding guidelines on social distancing designed to stop the spread of the virus.

�How will you avoid direct contact?� he said.

�That is my question.�

Meanwhile he urged football authorities to clamp down on spitting by players. �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.� � AFP

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