The gradual easing of coronavirus-related restrictions in Qatar continues with top-class domestic sporting action set to resume after July 20.

The Qatar Olympic Committee and the Qatar Football Association put out tweets to this effect, bringing some much needed cheer to sports fans in the country.

Sport suffered a body blow when the virus surged through its bastions over the past five months, infecting scores of highly-fit and highly-paid stars and raising questions about its very survival. But with many countries gradually coming to grips with the pandemic and gaining valuable insights into how the virus spreads, confidence has increased that with effective protocols in place it will be safe for action to resume.

The high-profile German Bundesliga resumed on Saturday — albeit without spectators — while the South Korean league started almost a week ago. The Serie A, the La Liga and the English Premier League are also chalking up plans for resumption.

The Qatar Football Federation said yesterday that domestic tournaments will resume on July 24 and finish on August 26 with safety measures in place. The measures will be announced later. The Qatar Stars League was in its decisive phase with five rounds to play when the pandemic forced a stoppage. The preliminary stages of the Amir Cup had just begun when play was called off. Players, officials and administrators will have to undergo testing for the virus on June 8 and 9, according to a QFA circular issued yesterday. QSL players will be on annual leave until June 7.

Training sessions will start on Wednesday, June 10. The QFA and QOC said that the decision to resume the season was taken after consultations with the Ministry of Public Health, with the safety of all concerned personnel including players, staff, officials and referees given utmost importance.

Source : Gulf Times

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