Football should not start until September, Fifa medical chief says

Michel D'Hooghe addresses the 67th FIFA Congress at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre on May 11, 2017. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Michel D’Hooghe, the chair of Fifa’s medical committee, has said football should not be played until at least the start of September, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

D’Hooghe also called for yellow cards for spitting when football does resume, to help rein in behaviour that could spread the virus.

“This is the most dramatic situation we have lived in since the Second World War. We should not underestimate it, we must be realistic,” D’Hooghe told European sports broadcaster Sky Sports.

“The world is not ready for competitive football, I hope this can change very quickly and I sincerely hope that. Today you need more patience…

“Football can only be possible if contact is possible again. Football remains a contact sport and contact is one of the first things everyone says that you should avoid.

“It’s still about social distancing. Testing is an important point but you have to repeat them (tests). If one of the players becomes positive, you have to put the whole group into quarantine. Is that a solution for a normal competition?”

“We do not know when it will reach its peak in different countries, it will be different in every country. The solution will only be there the day there is an adequate vaccination programme.”