No spectators at Argentine football matches at least till 2021: sports minister

Football matches in Argentina are likely to be held without spectators at the stadiums at least until early 2021, country’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Matias Lammens has said.

Matches have been suspended since March 17, three days before President Alberto Fernandez declared mandatory lockdown measures to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

On August 10, officials authorised the restart of training, though they are yet to announce when national championship matches will begin.

In an interview published on Sunday by the regional daily La Capital in Mar del Plata, a city in Buenos Aires province, Lammens was asked if summer tournament matches will take place “with or without spectators”.

“With spectators, I don’t think so. If you look at what’s happening in Europe, where football resumed more than a month ago, they aren’t even assessing the possibility of playing with spectators,” Lammens said.

“So I think it’s unlikely, at least this summer,” he added.