MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. All foreign football players and members of the coaching staff of the Russian Premier League (RPL) football clubs have returned to Russia before the restart of the league’s suspended season this summer, the RPL press service announced on Tuesday.
"We have completed the first and the very important stage of our Road Map on the resumption of the championship as all legionnaires and foreign specialists, who had to return to our country, are back with us again," RPL President Sergei Pryadkin was quoted as saying in the statement.
"This was important not only from the stance of the resumption of the currently suspended season, but also in view of the upcoming season," he added.
Russian Sport Minister Oleg Matytsin said late last month that the Russian ministry would render its assistance in the return of foreign footballers and specialists working in Russian football clubs as soon as a relevant document was approved.
The RPL (Russian Premier League) Executive Board made a decision last Friday to resume matches of the Russian Football Championship on June 21. They had been postponed several times earlier this year due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Prior to the RPL shutdown, the league’s clubs completed 22 out of 30 scheduled rounds of the championship. On April 1, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) recommended restarting national football tournaments.
Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a proposal from the Sports Ministry of Russia to reopen training camps for national teams’ athletes, only with a strict observation of all disciplinary and sanitary measures in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
During an on-line session with President Putin on May 22, regarding the current sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin presented Putin with a step-by-step report on the restoration of the system of national training camps. Putin said in response that "when the national teams are at their training camps they are really in a self-isolation regime and, in fact, the most important is to abide by sanitary measures."
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,641,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 349,700 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,407,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 362,342 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 131,129 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 3,807 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.