BOGOTA, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Colombia could allow professional football to restart in August or September but will wait for other countries to take the lead on how and when to end their COVID-19 shutdowns, a senior official said on Thursday.
The Colombian Football Federation (FCF) halted all of its affiliated competitions on March 13 and has yet to give any indication of when matches might resume.
"I don't want to be irresponsible by giving a specific date, but I would think we could consider August or September of this year," sports minister Ernesto Lucena said in a virtual session of Colombia's house of representatives.
"There has been a very clear message from the President [Ivan Duque]. He told me that he doesn't want to be the first league to start on this continent. He'd like to see what happens in Europe and the important global leagues."
When competitions do resume, matches will be played behind closed doors for an indefinite period, according to Lucena.
He added that it would take a month to conduct tests on players, coaching staff, officials and stadium workers before matches could be played again.
Colombia has more than 6,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 293 have been fatal, according to health ministry figures published on Thursday night.