Serie A, Bundesliga leading football renaissance

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18.

And in potentially more good news for football in Europe, Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke wants the German Bundesliga to resume as soon as possible. The league hopes to restart in May under strict hygiene conditions but needs the government to give the green light, with a big political meeting later this week discussing the issue.

But the news isn't so positive in Spain where the country's health minister says professional football won't restart any time soon.


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The move in Italy means that Serie A could resume playing games in June.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown.

Twelve rounds remain in Serie A, plus four other games that were postponed from the 25th round.

The Italian Cup was suspended after the first leg of the semifinals. Conte also said that athletes in individual sports can resume training on May 4.

Spain has been without football since March 12, two days before the nation went into a strict lockdown under a state of emergency to battle its savage coronavirus outbreak that has claimed more than 22,000 lives.

"It would be reckless for me to say now that professional football will be back before the summer," Salvador Illa said.

"We will continue to monitor the evolution (of the virus) and the guidelines we will present will indicate how different activities can return to a new normalcy."

The government's health officials, led by Illa, have the final say to authorise the return of sporting activities that would bring together groups of people and present a collective contagion risk.


Illa also appeared to dampen expectations that football players would be tested for the virus, as the Spanish league wants to happen on a daily basis once training resumes.

"There is a ministerial order in effect for all different groups, including professional football," Illa said.

"The tests must be put at the disposition of regional authorities, no matter what type of test they are. And it will be for them (the regional health authorities) to decide. We must have a common strategy. All of us must pull in the same direction."

Originally published as Serie A, Bundesliga leading football renaissance