UEFA Medical Chief Professor Tim Meyer said that it is “definitely possible” to plan to restart the 2019-20 suspended season one day after his FIFA counterpart warned against the resumption of play before September.
Yahoo Sports reported Meyer as saying:
“It is of paramount importance when discussing any return to playing competitive, elite-level football, players’ health, all those involved in potential games and the general public.
“All football organizations planning to restart their competitions will produce comprehensive protocols dictating sanitary and operational conditions that will protect the health of those involved in the games and preserve the integrity of public policy.
“It is definitely possible to plan the restart of competitions suspended during the 2019-20 season, under these conditions and in full respect of local legislation.”
The Premier League continues to work towards a possible return in early June, and has advised clubs to recall players and staff who may have traveled abroad with a view to training starting in May. However, the league was clear that any return to training next month will be subject to lockdown easing and will result from government advice.
Premier League clubs are due to be briefed at a meeting on Friday on different aspects of their ‘Project Restart,’ including testing plans and the possibility of playing games on neutral territory.
The medical adviser of the Premier League, Mark Gillett, along with the head of medicine of the Football Association, Charlotte Cowie, is understood to be part of a group of medical officers from sports’ governing bodies who will meet weekly with representatives of Public Health England, in talks led by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Ligue 1 became the second major European league to be cancelled after the Dutch Eredivisie. On Tuesday, FIFA’s Michel D’Hooghe told Sky Sports that it was not possible to play football before social contact was allowed and that he felt September was a realistic target.
But Meyer, chairman of UEFA’s medical committee as well as the newly formed UEFA medical subgroup that examined issues surrounding a return to play, had a different claim altogether.