Plans to resume football leagues met with scepticism, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Plans to resume football leagues met with scepticism

Barcelona coach Quique Setien believes the Spanish top-flight season might not be completed and has called La Liga's conditions for the campaign recommencing "a non-starter" due to the continued threat of the coronavirus.

La Liga has been on hold since March 10, although president Javier Tebas said last week that the league could resume on May 29, June 7 or June 28, behind closed doors.

Tebas has said Spanish clubs would lose a total of one billion euros (S$1.55b) in television revenue, ticket sales and prize money if the remaining 11 rounds cannot be played.

But Setien, whose Barca side hold a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the standings, believes it's not so simple.

"Everyone wants to be ready for when the season starts again, but that cannot happen until the health authorities can guarantee that there will be no problems," Setien told Catalan radio station RAC1 yesterday.

"I have read the protocol and the reality is I don't know if it can be carried out as it is written. I think it's unworkable, I think it's very difficult logistically."

La Liga declined to comment on Setien's remarks or give details of the protocol .

Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said he had been told that teams may have to remain in isolated camps until the season is completed.

Serie A has a similar plan. The Italian Football Federation plans to isolate players in training camps from May 4, with games resuming from May 30.

In Germany, public events are banned until Aug 31, but the German Football League (DFL) is determined to finish the season behind closed doors by June 30, to ensure its clubs do not lose out on crucial TV rights revenue.

The DFL plans to have a video conference next Thursday with the 36 clubs in the top two divisions to discuss if matches can resume early next month.

But Bayern Munich's Niklas Suele is sceptical.

"There are many more important things than football at the moment," he told AFP subsidiary SID. - REUTERS, AFP