South American games to restart with ‘maximum guarantees’

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez, pictured in December, says health precautions will be taken before restarting the continent's football program

South American football will restart with the “maximum guarantees” for the health of players and those involved, CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez told the medical teams of the region’s 10 member associations by video call on Thursday.

Football in South America has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dominguez said there will be “a coordinated, homogenous and responsible response so that the return of football can take place with the maximum guarantees for everyone.”

However, South American football’s governing body will wait to see what health measures each member country takes before deciding when to restart its flagship club competition, the Copa Libertadores, said CONMEBOL’s development director Gonzalo Belloso.

“The most difficult problem we face is the migration of teams and the airports,” said Belloso, adding that CONMEBOL hoped to restart its equivalent of Europe’s UEFA Champions League in September.

“We’re working with governments. We’re not going to put people’s lives at risk,” he added.

CONEMBOL was forced to postpone the Copa America that was due to begin this month until 2021 due to the virus.

Two rounds of qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar also had to be called off in March with the next round due to take place at the end of September.

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