Friday 14 August, 2020

FIFA Medical Chief calls for all leagues to be cancelled

FIFA medical chief Michel d'Hooghe.

FIFA medical chief Michel d'Hooghe.

FIFA's Medical Chief Michel D'Hooghe believes there should be no football until the start of next season with concerns over a "second attack" of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns were ended on Tuesday when French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that professional football will not be able to resume before September.

The Eredivisie has also been cancelled along with the domestic season in Argentina, but they are planning to get underway again in countries such as England, Spain, Germany and Italy.

D'Hooghe is concerned that finances are being put ahead of health.

He told the Daily Telegraph that "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 at the 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 economics 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."

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