FIFA’s Chief Medic, Michael D’Hooghe, has advised the English Premier League and German Bundesliga not to resume their leagues amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Michael D’Hooghe said football chiefs should see the Coronavirus crisis as a ‘life and death’ situation and postpone football till August as players spitting on the pitch could unleash deadly second wave of the virus.
D’Hooghe expressed concern that players on a football field would not be able to adhere to these rules fearing changing jerseys, showering together and spitting on the ground could spread the virus. He said:
‘We are all subject to decisions at national level from the public authorities. It is very simple. Football suddenly becomes not the most important thing in life.
‘I will be happy if we can start, in a convenient way, the next championship and have nothing before the start of next season.
‘If they could start the season 2020-21 end of August or beginning of September I would be happy. Then they could eventually avoid a second attack from the virus, which is not impossible.
‘Everyone has to be very careful for the moment. I have heard in many countries they are thinking about playing football again, with or without the public.
‘In my long career I have seen many situations where there has been a balance between economic and health. Mostly the economics won, whether that was about jetlag or football at altitude or in extreme conditions such as pollution situations.
‘If there is one circumstance where medical arguments should win against economical arguments, it is now. It is not a matter of money, it is a matter of life and death. It is very simple.’