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Portuguese football could resume in May

  • Primeira Liga given the go ahead to resume by the Portuguese government
  • Resumption dependent on Directorate-General of Health
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Primeira Liga given the go ahead to resume in May by the Portuguese government (Getty Images)

The 2019/20 Primeira Liga could resume at the end of May. The Portuguese government announced on Thursday a measured reopening of most areas of the economy in Portugal which had been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government’s deconfinement plan specifies that top flight football in Portugal can resume on the weekend of 30/31 May.

The Portuguese Cup final between Porto and Benfica could also be contested, but all football from the second division down the pyramid has been cancelled this season. 

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said: “This return of football will only be for the Primeira Liga and with tight restrictions.

“The games will be played behind closed doors, with no spectators in the stands, whatever the stadium, be it a league match or the Portuguese Cup final.”

The announcement reflects plans put forward by the football authorities at the start of April. However, certain conditions have to be met for the resumption of the season to happen.

“This resumption is still dependent on the Directorate-General of Health approving the sanitary protocol presented by the Liga and assessment of whether the stadiums comply with all the conditions necessary to restart the competition,” added Costa.

The 2019/20 Primeira Liga was suspended on 12 March with 10 matches remaining. FC Porto top the table, one point ahead of Benfica having overcome a 7-point deficit at the halfway stage.

Sporting Braga, Sporting CP, Rio Ave, Vitoria Guimaraes and Famalicao are all battling for UEFA Europa League qualification. Aves and Portimonense currently occupy the bottom two relegation spots.

The decision in Portugal follows the Netherlands and France announcing the cancellation of their 2019/20 seasons. Other nations including Spain and Germany are attempting to reschedule the remainder of their seasons.
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