League-by-league guide to the return of football around Europe
PARIS: With Switzerland on Friday (May 29) following Italy's Serie A in setting a date for its return from the coronavirus shutdown, and the English Premier League also now agreed on when to resume, AFP Sport casts a glance at the situation for football leagues across Europe:
The German Bundesliga was the first major European league to return on May 16, but the Faroe Islands came back before that. Football is also being played again in Estonia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, while Belarus was the one country on the continent where it never went away during the coronavirus crisis.
On Thursday, Italy's sports minister confirmed that Serie A will return on Jun 20, while La Liga in Spain will resume its season in the week beginning Jun 8.
Italy's announcement was followed on Friday by neighbours Switzerland, whose league will resume on June 19.
The Swiss season was the first in Europe to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the last matches played on Feb 23. Clubs will play two games a week in order to complete the remaining third of the season by Aug 2.
Here are all confirmed restart dates in Europe:
Denmark - May 28
Poland - May 29
Serbia, Ukraine - May 30
Austria - Jun 2
Portugal - Jun 3
Slovenia - Jun 5
Croatia, Greece - Jun 6
Spain - week beginning Jun 8
Turkey - Jun 12
Norway - Jun 16
Switzerland - Jun 19
Italy - Jun 20
Russia - Jun 21
Finland - Jul 1
ENGLAND AWAITS GREEN LIGHT
The Premier League on Thursday announced the date of Jun 17 for its return, although that remains "provisional" for now, according to chief executive Richard Masters.
He admitted the date "cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority."
The Netherlands was the first European country to bring an early end to the season on Apr 24 as the Eredivisie was cancelled without a champion being crowned.
France then followed suit on Apr 30, ending the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed.
The season was not voided, though, with Paris Saint-Germain confirmed as champions, European places dished out and relegation and promotion between the top two divisions maintained on a two-up, two-down basis.
Belgium also ended its season, with Club Brugge champions, after the Belgian government announced it was suspending all sporting competitions until Jul 31.
In Scotland the season had already been called early in the three divisions below the top flight and the Premiership followed suit on May 18, with Celtic being crowned champions for the ninth year running.
Luxembourg and Cyprus also called an end to their seasons but without naming a champion.