Turkish football leagues may start in June at earliest

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Turkish football leagues could restart at the beginning of June at the earliest, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said on Friday.

In a statement, the federation said the timeline was according to the club's required training period, and that plans for alternative scenarios were also ready.

The mission is to complete the 2019/2020 football season while "prioritizing human life first," the statement said.

"In a joint letter shared with all stakeholders, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, European Club Association Chairman Andrea Agnelli, and European Leagues President Lars-Christer Olsson stressed the importance of completing the season no matter how long the delay."

'10 different scenarios'

The statement said the TFF board will evaluate the situation in the first week of May in line with decisions of the state, recommendations of the Coronavirus Science Board, and in coordination with the Youth and Sports Ministry.

"According to the developments, 10 alternative scenarios, plans, and programs are ready in accordance with the conditions mentioned above," the federation said.

On March 19, Turkey suspended all competitions in four major sports -- football, basketball, handball, and volleyball.

The country has 18,135 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, while the death toll is at 356, according to government figures.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than one million cases have been reported worldwide so far, with the global death toll around 54,000, and recoveries nearing 217,500.

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