RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian football could restart at the end of June, the secretary general of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) told Reuters on Tuesday – even though the number of coronavirus cases is still rising in South America’s hardest-hit nation.
Walter Feldman said the return to action in the German Bundesliga, where nine first division games were played this weekend after a two-month hiatus, was a positive example for world football.
“It was necessary to stop and returning is possible,” Feldman told Reuters in an interview. “That is what we learnt from the return of football in Germany. Germany is a great sign.
“Doors open in May, more open in June and I have no doubt that in June, with the return of training, sustained protocols and the chance of flexibility by the health authorities, football can return with restrictions,” Feldman said. Some Brazilian teams have begun training again, with current champions Flamengo recalling players on Monday.
The positive note came a day after Brazil became the country with the third-highest number of confirmed infections behind the United States and Russia.
Brazil recorded a record high 1,179 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to the Health Ministry, and announced a total of 271,628 cases.
Brazil’s state championships were suspended in March and were due to finish in April.
The national leagues were scheduled to kick off in early May and end in December but Feldman acknowledged this year’s league season could run into 2021.
Any restart would likely happen without fans present and with all the same social distancing restrictions that fans saw in Germany over the weekend also in place, he added.
All Latin America’s professional soccer leagues were suspended except for Nicaragua, although Costa Rica’s league was due to restart on Tuesday.