July 11, 2020 / 5:33 AM / a month ago

Copa Libertadores to restart in September

(Reuters) - South America’s premier club competition the Copa Libertadores is to restart in September after a hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Friday.

The 32 teams involved in the region’s version of the Champion’s League can resume their games from Sept. 15 behind closed doors and following the protocols put in place to prevent any further spread of the virus.

The Copa Sudamericana, the continent’s second tier tournament equivalent to the Europa League, can restart from Oct. 27, CONMEBOL said.

Finals of both tournaments are expected to take place the last week of January 2021.

There are 32 teams still involved in the Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana. Play in both tournaments was suspended on March 18 as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe.

Football has yet to return in most South American leagues, with Brazil, the country with the biggest death toll outside the United States, the only major nation where play has resumed.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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