Tunisian League to restart in August behind closed doors

Esperance's defender Sameh Derbali (C) celebrates his goal with his team during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup football match for the fifth place between Qatar's al-Sadd and Tunisia's Esperance de Tunis at the Khalifa International Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on December 17, 2019. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

The Tunisian football federation has announced the country’s football league will resume its season in August behind closed doors. Matches were suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Closed-door training will restart at the beginning of June, the Federation announced. It was initially hoped that Ligue 1 could be restarted in June, but the government rebuffed the FTF’s plan.

No further details were available on the schedule of matches or training, and the restart only relates to the top two tiers of the professional league.

The 2020-2021 Ligue I season is scheduled to begin in October.

Earlier in the week, the FTF in collaboration with the Tunisian health ministry published a strategy document on restarting football.

It says all players will have to commit to respecting virus prevention measures and state that they understand the risks, while assessments and medical examinations will be carried out before and during the competition period.

“The resumption of professional Ligue 1 will take place in August 2020,” read a statement from the FTF website.

“A certain number of measures will apply which has previously published and which will be sent to the clubs in the form of decisions. They will be published again to remind them.

“The 2020/2021 season for Professional Ligue 1 will start on October 24. The 2020/2021 season for the other divisions will start on October 31.

“The Cup matches will be scheduled according to the requirements of the general calendar.

“All the above-mentioned deadlines are always subject to the approval of the state institutions responsible for defining the general policy for the fight against the coronavirus in accordance with the requirements of the health and epidemiological situation.

“If the official meetings have not resumed in August, the federal office will announce the necessary decisions at the appropriate time,” the statement concluded.

Defending champions Esperance lead the standings with 44 points from 16 matches and are unbeaten this season. They are 10 points clear of CS Sfaxien in second, Club Africain and Etoile du Sahel are in 4th and 6th place respectively.

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