COVID-19: Peru free to restart football, says president

PORTO ALEGRE, July 4, 2019 (Xinhua) — Chile’s Erick Pulgar(1st R) competes with Paolo Guerrero(2nd R) of Peru during the Copa America 2019 semifinal match between Chile and Peru in Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 3, 2019. (Xinhua/Xin Yuewei/IANS)

Lima, May 23 (IANS) Peruvian football clubs have been given permission to resume training after more than two months of inactivity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Martin Vizcarra made the announcement in a televised speech on Friday, in which he also confirmed an extension of the country’s lockdown until June 30, with only minor changes to allow some economic sectors to restart, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We have accepted the request of the FPF (Peruvian Football Federation) to allow professional clubs to return to training and, further down the track, to start playing again,” Vizcarra said.

“It’s important that all of the protocols are followed and that all of the matches, at least in the coming months, are played behind closed doors,” he added.

Peru has been hit hard by the coronavirus with almost 112,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,200 deaths.

Authorities in Peru suspended football on March 12, a day after the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

“Football is coming back,” the Peruvian Professional Football Association (ADFP) said on Twitter after Vizcarra’s announcement.

It added that clubs would return to training progressively. Neither Vizcarra nor the ADFP indicated when matches would resume.

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