FIFA medical chief calls for all leagues to be cancelled

Michel D'Hooghe is “sceptical” about restarting league football and has suggested national competitions concentrate on getting ready for next season instead.

Michel d'Hooghe has warned that a quick resumption of football could have “consequences of life and death”.   -  Getty Images

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 coronavirus.

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 under way again in countries such as England, Spain, Germany and Italy.

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

“If there is one moment where absolute priority should be given to medical matters, then it is this one. This is not a matter of money but of life and death,” D'Hooghe told Sky Sports News in an interview on Tuesday.

“This is the most dramatic situation we have lived in since the Second World War. We should not underestimate it, we must be realistic, he added regarding the pandemic which has forced the game's suspension in almost all countries.

D'Hooghe also said changes needed to be made to rules and regulations whenever football returns to allow referees to caution players who are seen to spit during matches.

“It's a common practice in football but it's not very hygienic,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

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