Chile’s top football division will resume competition on August 29 after a five-month pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Sebastian Pinera said on Wednesday.

The announcement came two days after the Chilean Professional Football Association approved sanctions to be applied should new protocols be breached.

“This return will be done in stages, just like we are doing with everything else,” Pinera said during a televised speech. “Initially there will be no fans and very strict sanitary rules.”

“It is important that we restart football; that we reawaken passions, joy, emotions – and that we do it well,” he added.

Chile’s top football division was suspended in mid-March, with most teams having played seven or eight matches.

Universidad Catolica lead the 18-team standings with six wins and one defeat, three points clear of second placed Union Calera.

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