FIFA Medical Committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe is concerned that European football will be restarting too early ©Getty Images

FIFA Medical Committee chair Michel D’Hooghe has warned plans to resume European football leagues in the middle of May would be a health risk amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, La Liga President Javier Tebas said that was the intention of the continent's top leagues following the postponement of Euro 2020 to next year. 

However, all football in Spain, including La Liga, was put on hold indefinitely yesterday while the country tackles the continued spread of coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Italy’s Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora suggested Serie A could return on May 3, with "open or closed" doors.

This is despite the country being the hardest-hit nation in Europe, recording more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths so far.

Although the rate of infection has seemingly slowed in Italy in the last few days, it is by no means being taken for granted as a sign that the outbreak is under control.

In England, which is further behind the coronavirus curve than Italy, the postponement of Euro 2020 has opened up a window for Premier League fixtures to take place in June.

D’Hooghe, a 74-year-old Belgian medical doctor, has slammed the original suggestion made by Tebas.

"In my opinion, mid-May is absolutely too early," D’Hooghe was reported as saying by the Daily Mail.

"If you start games in mid-May you have to begin training two or three weeks earlier.

"I don’t have the future in my hands, but in my opinion that’s not a good idea. 

"It’s definitely a health risk with the information we have at our disposal today."

It has been suggested that Serie A football could resume in May ©Getty Images
It has been suggested that Serie A football could resume in May ©Getty Images

Even restarting football behind closed doors is by no means justified within the timeframe outlined, according to D’Hooghe.

"What I can say is that the coronavirus will not have disappeared by May even if it may have flattened out slightly in some countries more than others," he said.

"I can’t say when football should realistically start again - it’s an incredibly difficult question because no-one knows when the coronavirus peak will be reached."

D’Hooghe stressed that the preparation teams must undergo before recommencing the season is another problem on top of the matches themselves.

"Even if clubs start playing behind closed doors, they will need to have trained for at least two weeks," he said.

"That means people coming together in dressing rooms and showers etc and that is precisely what we have to avoid for the moment. 

"Could that endanger lives? With what I know as of today, it’s certainly a risk, yes."

Yesterday, UEFA postponed the finals of the Champions League, Europa League and Women's Champions League in light of the coronavirus pandemic bringing European football to a halt.

No new dates have yet been proposed.

All UEFA competitions were suspended on March 13 because of the spread of coronavirus.

The Champions League final had been scheduled for May 30 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

May 27 was the date for the Europa League final, which is due to be played at Stadion Energa Gdańsk.