The opening match of K League 2020 between the Jeonbuk Hyundai and Suwon Samsung was held at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 8th May.
Life in South Korea has returned largely to normal, with workers going back to offices this week under eased social distancing rules. Schools will start re-opening next week.
Authorities reported 12 fresh coronavirus cases Friday, taking the total to 10,822.
The K-League spectators will be allowed back into stadiums progressively as the government eases its distancing measures.
Players and coaching staff will have their temperatures checked before each game and anyone at 37.5 C (99.5 F) or more will be isolated and tested. If anyone gets infected during the season, their team and those who played against them will have to take a two-week break. And instead of the traditional pre-game handshakes, players have been asked to bow their heads from a distance.
Before and after the match the players bumped fists instead of handshakes as advised.
The match, played under stringent safety guidelines, is the first glimpse of post-virus football and similar scenes are likely elsewhere as other leagues get under way.
All personnel entering the stadium had their temperatures checked and were required to wear face masks, and hand sanitisers were located throughout the venue.
The Korea Professional Football Federation made a bold decision in preparation for the opening of the “Hana One Q K League 2020”. The K-League 1 (Part 1) and K-League 2 (Part 2) teams and leaders, as well as staff, were tested for the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19) - PCR (ECG and review of medical history were included as a routine check up list)
The opening of a new season could have been a bubble if even one was judged positive. However, all the inspectors turned out to be negative, and it was a great catalyst to confirm the opening day of the season this year. After the Corona 19 Pandemic (a global pandemic), the K-League was the first to conduct a corona 19 thorough inspection of members to resume the professional sports league.
Dr MD. ALI EMRAN, BFF Medical Committee
Acknowledgement: Dr Kwang J Kim, AFC Medical Officer ( S Korea )