The Bulgarian league will resume on June 5, after the season begins on July 25

SOFIA: Bulgaria's top division will resume after COVID-19's strike on June 5 without viewers in a shortened format, which would allow the league season to be completed within a month, the country's soccer union ( BFU ) said Thursday.

The decision means that the top tier comprising 14 clubs will play another two rounds of games to complete the regular season, while the championship and relegation playoffs requiring 10 additional rounds have been reduced to five.

The Balkan State League has been on hold since March 13 as part of closure measures across the country that have begun to slow with athletes allowed to conduct individual outdoor training.

As of Thursday, the Black Sea country had 1,811 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 84 deaths.

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Ludogorets, who won the title in the last eight seasons, led the standings with 55 points from 23 games, nine more than Lokomotiv Plovdiv , Levski Sofia and CSKA Sofia.

the league season will end on July 11 while the Bulgarian Cup final will take place on July 4, the BFU said.

The next campaign will begin on July 25, three days after the National Super Cup, the traditional preseason backdrop.

NO HEADS AND SHOWERS

the clubs were allowed to resume team training next week after a detailed plan, developed by the BFU, was submitted to the health minister. All players would undergo testing for the novel coronavirus three days before returning to training.

Under the plan, players, already dressed in training kits, are to arrive for their sessions in their own cars and not use the restrooms in the locker rooms. They must maintain a distance of five meters during the exercises.

All players, including goalkeepers, may not touch the ball with their hands during the first week of competition. Headlines, handshakes, and shirt swaps are also prohibited.

the BFU 's medical commission recommended refreshment breaks midway through the two halves as well as additional substitutions with the BFU expected to announce a final decision in the coming days.

The match official meetings, as well as news conferences, should be held outdoors with all present wearing protective masks, the BFU said.

the German soccer league (DFL) announced Thursday that the Bundesliga season will restart on May 16 after a suspension of more than two months, becoming the first European league to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic

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