Following a delay to the planned May 30 restart of the 2019/20 top division season with the league announcing Thursday, June 4 as the new date, a return to competitive action at that time is as of yet not guaranteed, with clubs still awaiting individual stadium assessments and recommendations by the DGS health authorities.
Earlier this week, a meeting of club presidents on the matter was postponed until Thursday, May 21, as a result of delays to inspections and subsequent later releases of DGS reports.
Details relating to level two and three stadiums – which include the stadiums of Portimonense, Paços de Ferreira, Aves, Rio Ave, Tondela and Vitória de Setúbal, while others in this category will share grounds – were gathered 10 days ago and have been in the hands of the health authorities since last Sunday night, according to the Portuguese Football League (LPF), with evaluations still to be released. Once the final go-ahead has been given, it is envisaged that matches will be spread over all seven days of a week until fixtures have been completed.
Meanwhile, Portimonense majority shareholder Theodoro Fonseca, who had earlier threatened to pull out of Portuguese football in view of the injustices regarding the apparently arbitrary decision-making process connected to lower division premature end-of-season promotion and relegation issues, has said that “the Algarve must not be excluded. If we need another changing room, I will build one!” he added.
All 75 Portimonense players and staff have passed a second set of Covid-19 tests and the club is confident it will play its home games during the final instalment of this unprecedented season in Portimão, albeit behind closed doors.
By SKIP BANDELE