There are several scenarios on the table for the return of competitions in Portugal. The competent bodies seem to want to speed up the process by playing games behind closed doors, in order to be able to finish the season as soon as possible. In an interview with Bola Branca, Paulo Meneses, president of Paços de Ferreira, is against a hasty return, in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.
"It is completely premature and irresponsible to be establishing a return schedule when there is no idea what reality will be tomorrow. Portuguese football has, in the past, given an example of thoughtfulness and prevention and, at this moment, we may be giving a example of precipitation outside, for civil society ", he considers, adding that a precipitous return could also jeopardize the next season.
"We must first have the conditions to restart the season. The General Directorate of Health established, a week ago, that the peak of this pandemic should happen in mid-April. Now we are talking about the end of May. In this scenario, a return rash would mortgage this season and the next. We shouldn't be tied to any scenario for now ".
Paulo Meneses considers that all scenarios are on the table. However, in the opinion of the Pacense leader, the season should not go beyond the end of June.
"There does not have to be a decision across all the European Leagues. The season should not be dismissed as it should not be said that it will be resumed, we should wait another week or two. The season should never pass end of June. We all want to finish the season but we’re going to wait ", he says.
Paulo Meneses reveals concern for the physical condition of the players if the proposal to play every three days goes ahead, when the tests are resumed. Especially because athletes will need a period of preparation before returning to compete.
"The return to competition should be preceded by a mini pre-season of at least one month. Then we will have games every three days and that implies an effort on the part of the players that goes beyond what is humanly possible", he concludes.
UEFA gives until 3 August for associations to advance the list of clubs for European competitions. The championships will have to be closed by then.