FIFA's chief doctor 'sceptical' over re-starting football season, proposing postponement until next year

Michel d'Hooghe is 'sceptical' over continuing the season (PA Images)
Michel d'Hooghe is 'sceptical' over continuing the season (PA Images)
9:32am, Wed 29 Apr 2020
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Fifa's chief doctor has said he is ‘sceptical’ over football returning this season.

The chair of  the organisation's medical committee, Michel d'Hooghe, believes it is more sensible to plan for next year instead.

He told BBC Sport: "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."

Mr d'Hooghe, 74,  added: "There is a risk and it is not a risk that has small consequences.

 "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."

“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 said

“How will you avoid direct contact?” he asked.

"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.

"For instance to avoid spitting - why do we have to see that in football and not in other sports? 

"This is one of the things we have to consider because this is a real danger in the future."

All European Leagues that have not yet been cancelled, have until May 25 to inform UEFA over their plans to continue or cancel the season with a number of leagues already announcing the voiding of the 2019-20 campaigns.

Plans for resumption of the English Premier League are slowly being put into action with the launching of “Project restart" as some clubs reopen their training grounds in a bid to start again.

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