The President of Portuguese Professional Football League (LPFP), Pedro Proença, said today that the organization is working for the 2020/21 season to begin, in September, with an audience on the stands.
At the conference "Professional Football and Post-COVID-19 Economy", promoted by LPFP, in Oeiras, Pedro Proença underlined that fans are part of football and indispensable to the show.
“It is for the fans that we are fighting and working, and we will do everything so that the next season starts with them. Without them, football does not exist, and we are in talks with the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and the Government ”, revealed the LPFP president.
In response, in his speech at the conference, the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport (SEJD), João Paulo Rebelo, admitted that football only has all its essence when the “artists” can be seen live by the public.
João Paulo Rebelo also underlined that everything is being done so that supporters can quickly return to the stands, but he warned that this decision cannot jeopardize public health and the progress made in combating the covid-19 pandemic.
“It is evident that our artists, the athletes, deserve the presence of the public. We know that the public's behavior in an amphitheater is different from the public in a football game, which does not mean that we are not involved in the search for a solution as soon as possible ”, he said.
The governor, who was present on Saturday in the final of the Portuguese Cup – FC Porto won the trophy, beating Benfica 2-1, in Coimbra – and recognized a “bleak scenario” in front of the empty stands, did not commit himself, however, with deadlines.
“I can't say from when, but we need to work with DGS, and I want you to know that the SEJD and the Government are committed so that this can happen as quickly as possible, but without compromising the balance that is difficult to achieve, and in such a way that an excessive opening does not compromise all the work we are doing ”, he explained.
The 2020/21 edition of the 1st Portuguese Football League kicks off on the weekend of 20 September, a week after the start of the 2nd League, and the draw for the two competitions is scheduled for 28 August.