The Hong Kong Premier League will know this week if the current season will be abandoned following a worrying resurgence of the coronavirus in the city. The Hong Kong Football Association is requesting clubs’ comments on the plan to resume the season in August with the current situation looking grimmer by the day. With 73 confirmed new coronavirus positive cases recorded on Monday in Hong Kong, the chances of resuming the 2019/20 season looks increasingly unlikely. “All football venues have been closed indefinitely and if the pandemic continues to spread and cannot be controlled this week, it will be difficult for us to resume the league as planned,” said Football Association chairman Pui Kwan-kay. “Letters have been sent out to clubs last week providing them with different options before we make a decision. If we cannot resume competition, we may have to abandon the season.” Pui said they had planned to give the clubs at least four weeks for training before the season is supposed to restart on August 22. But with the government closing all venues last week following a third wave of the pandemic, there has been no training grounds for the six clubs who will participate in the league for the remaining season. Even the association’s Football Training Centre in Tseung Kwan O has also stopped operations due to the pandemic. Seven teams left in Hong Kong football season after three pull out “We cannot ask the clubs to start [training] again without giving them sufficient preparation time or the players will easily get injured,” said the chief. “But with no training grounds available, there is nothing we can do, plus the group gathering rule allows for no more than four people getting together, so it’s difficult for the teams to train.” Only six out of the 10 teams have said they plan to continue in the remaining season which has been suspended since March due to the pandemic. Pegasus, BC Rangers, Best Union Yuen Long and Wofoo Tai Po have said they would not contest the remaining season while the two latter teams said they have withdrawn from the Premier League for next season. Among the six teams confirmed for the remaining season, R&F, Lee Man and Kitchee are tied at the top of the table with 10 points each after deducting results following the four clubs’ withdrawal. Guangzhou-based R&F top the table having a better playing record among the three. The three other teams in the remaining season are Eastern Long Lions, Kwoon Chung Southern and Happy Valley. Hong Kong given Fifa transfer exemption for Premier League restart If the league is abandoned, R&F will have the chance to represent Hong Kong at next year’s AFC Champions League while the second-tier AFC Cup berth will be awarded to the FA Cup champions, which is still undecided as all three cup finals this season have yet to be played. “We have to find a resolution to decide the ]standings] final positions if we abandon the league and the current standings complicate the issue as three teams share the same number of points,” said Pui. “Also, all three cup finals have not even been decided. If there is no FA Cup champion, which team should represent Hong Kong at next year’s AFC Cup?” The Senior Shield final features Eastern and Lee Man, while Kitchee will take on Southern in the Sapling Cup final. Eastern and R&F will meet in the FA Cup final for a place in the regional cup tie.