Sunday, 12 April 2020
Marc Van Ranst will advise the European Football Union, UEFA, to stop all competitions this year due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) virologist said on Saturday.
Van Ranst said on Sporza that it was UEFA that had contacted him. “They asked me if their CEO could call me and I have no problem with that. I am going to defend the Pro League’s point of view and tell them it’s time to stop the competitions,” the virologist said.
“It will be difficult to complete the championships in an orderly fashion,” said Van Ranst, adding that “it’s better to face facts.”
For Van Ranst, matches behind closed doors send a bad signal. “There would be two teams, match officials, coaches and other persons in the stadium, whereas people are being asked to practice social distancing,” he explained. “I cannot say much about the start of the next season. We’re only in mid-April so there’s still a lot of time left to make decisions in that regard,” he added.
The Pro League’s Board of Directors has recommended ending the Belgian championship due to the novel Coronavirus. Its recommendation is due to be validated at a General Assembly of the League, set for 24 April.
UEFA President Aleksandar Ceferin did not take kindly to the recommendation from the Pro League Board. He warned that Belgian clubs’ European slots could be jeopardized if the competitions were to be ended prematurely.
The Brussels Times