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Football almost certain to return behind closed doors

Still unclear when football can resume due to Coronavirus pandemic
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Football is almost certain to return behind closed doors but it is "impossible" to know when. Alberto Colombo, the deputy general secretary of European Leagues, said the suspension of the season because of the Covid-19 pandemic was "a huge crisis".

"The vast majority" of the association's members, which includes the English Premier League and English Football League, are prioritising a return to action, Colombo said.

But Colombo also conceded that "a small number" of countries including Belgium were strongly considering cancelling their current seasons.

Football has been suspended indefinitely across most of Europe because of the continued spread of coronavirus. The Belarussian Premier League has continued to play with spectators with the Turkish Super Lig and Russian Premier League the last two major leagues to be postponed.

The Premier League has nine rounds of fixtures to play in the 2019-20 season with EPL clubs set to meet on Friday to discuss a possible resumption.

German clubs became the first in Europe to return to training last week with with discussions about resuming the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in May.

But Colombo has urged caution: "The priority so far has been on focusing on creating conditions to be able to resume competition during the summer should we be able.

"You need to resume training and develop your own protocols. There's no doubt it will be behind closed doors, so the competition organisers have to develop medical protocols, training protocols, match-operation protocols.

"But, of course, it's impossible to answer the question: 'When we will be back playing?' Nobody has these answers.

"Ultimately, we all know the governments of the countries are the ones in charge for lifting the various restrictions that apply to sport."
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