Sporting events in the Netherlands may go ahead later in the year but they will do so without fans until a vaccine is developed for the coronavirus.
This was announced by the Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge on Thursday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday that organised sport could resume from 1 September.
But De Jonge said mass gatherings would be barred until a vaccine is developed.
“We cannot yet mention a date for the last step, the mass gatherings,” he wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament. That is actually only possible if there is a vaccine and no one knows how long it will take. We hope of course soon, but a year or more is very real.”
COVID-19 has infected more than 41,000 people in the Netherlands and caused 5,288 deaths.
The top two Dutch football leagues were abandoned last month with no promotion or relegation and no champions.