BRATISLAVA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- After a pause of two and a half months caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in Slovakia, the country's Fortuna Liga top-flight football league announced the terms of its continuation on Friday.
The country's football governing body set the preliminary date for the restart at June 13, after several hours of negotiation with club representatives.
Instead of the originally planned 10 rounds of matches, clubs will play only five, providing the situation in the country allows it, and no team will be relegated at the end of the season.
"It was a difficult and often emotional debate. We were trying to find the most optimal solution. We are aware that it is not going to be easy and issues will arise but we are willing to try and I believe we can succeed if we stay united. The spectators will profit," said Union president Ivan Kozak.
The remaining five rounds will be played out over the weekends according to a new set of fixtures.
Fortuna Liga will not utilize the temporary option of allowing up to five substitutions per match offered by FIFA and UEFA for countries with condensed schedules.
All players will have to undergo testing for COVID-19. No spectators will be allowed to attend the matches.
Some Fortuna Liga club representatives voted for this season to be ended prematurely at today's conference, but the majority decided to continue, albeit with a shortened version.
The primary reason for the shortening was the deadline for registering clubs for next season's continental competitions. All football unions in Europe must announce their qualified teams by July 20.
Slovan Bratislava currently lead the Fortuna Liga table by ten points from Zilina, with third-placed Dunajska Streda a further seven points behind. Bratislava have also managed to advance to the semifinals of the Slovak Cup. Enditem