Doha, 20 May 2020 - Hani Ballan, CEO of the Qatar Stars League (QSL) and member of the Executive Committee of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), has provided a detailed explanation after the ruling body’s decision to resume football activity from July 24 to August 26.
The decision to resume football was made after a circular issued by the Qatar Olympic Committee urging sports bodies to complete competitions of the current sports season after July 20.
The football details were announced during a response to inquiries from local journalists that were transmitted through the media office in QFA.
Ballan said the decision to resume football are based on an integrated plan developed in consultation between all concerned parties – whether in the QFA and Qatar Stars League – or the relevant authorities in Qatar especially the Ministry of Health.
In the beginning, the national plan reviewed the decisions that were taken in line with the directions adopted by Qatar to combat the spread of the coronavirus as it was indicated by the decision to hold matches without fans since March 11 before football activity was completely stopped on March 15. Then there was a decision to extend the suspension of activity until May 31 before the QFA announced its decision to resume football activity from July 24 to August 26.
Also, it was announced that as club players were given leave from May 17 to June 7 before appearing for the COVID-19 detection tests on 8 and June 9. The players will start their training from June 10, according to the circular issued by Qatar Stars League.
Question: When is the completion date of the Qatar Stars League?
Answer: The Qatar Stars League will be completed between July 24 until August 26. The Qatar Stars League will issue circulars regarding the dates and determine the venues after coordination with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Question: Will the league be completed with promotion and relegation?
Answer: We will complete the remaining five rounds of the Qatar Stars League. At the same time, the promotion and relegation will be applied in accordance with the provisions of the Qatar Football Association statutes.
Question: Will the five sub rule of FIFA applied and use of VAR seen at matches?
Answer: The Qatar Football Association will make use of the five substitutions approved by FIFA recently. Also, QSL will continue make use of the the VAR technology during the matches.
Question: What are the media measures to be applied during matches?
Answer: No press conferences are to be held before and after the matches. The club social media platforms will be used to share news of players and coaches. The post-match interviews will be delivered only on the pitch by TV crew that will maintain distance during an interview. Other than host broadcaster screw, no media journalist will be allowed inside the match venue. photographers on the other hand will be allocated a separate zone in the media tribune where adequate distancing will be maintained.
Question: What are the medical procedures or medical protocols that will be followed?
Answer: Our medical protocol has been approved by the Ministry of Public Health. The QFA and QSL will implement the protocols strictly. First of all, the player tests will be conducted on June 8 and 9. Match officials, referees and backroom staff at clubs will also be tested according to a timetable of events before training sessions are resumed after June 10. In case of somebody emerging as positive, those cases will be dealt with according to the medical procedures approved by the Ministry of Health.
Question: What are the chances of fans attending matches in the future?
Answer: This is subject to an assessment of the situation during the months of July and August. An appropriate decision that preserves the safety of everyone will be taken later. We hope that the matches could be held in the presence of fans in the future.
Question: What about signing of new players ahead of the new season?
Answer: The competent authorities will determine the transfer of players and the registration of new players for the next season 2021/2020. A circular explaining all aspects regarding the registration mechanism and its dates will be issued in this regard later.