Plans are being pieced together for the 2020 Chinese Super League season to start in June or July.
Competitive football around the world has been in a state of indefinite postponement during the coronavirus outbreak, with the CSL, which was due to kick-off its new campaign on February 22, having been pushed back.
Certain restrictions are now being lifted in China relating to Covid-19 – with the nation having been epicentre of the outbreak – and a sense of normality is returning.
That could see major sporting events returned to the calendar.
Goal can confirm that that Chinese FA has instructed all of the clubs under its umbrella to prepare for a summer opening to the 2020 season, albeit with the acceptance that June or July is the earliest potential start date that can be pencilled in.
Some sides have already returned to training, with many more now expected to follow suit. There are, however, going to be rigorous tests for those involved before match action can get underway.
It is understood that all of those involved – be it players or other club employees – will need to pass two Covid-19 tests before being cleared to resume their duties.
Those rules will apply to all players – with former Manchester United star Marouane Fellaini having recently overcome a bout of the illness – and coaches.
A first test will be carried at some point over the next few days, with a second taking place a week before the opening round of fixtures.
Leading CSL sides will also be given the chance to bring those currently outside of China back into their plans.
Travel restrictions have been in place for some time, with the nation’s borders having been closed to foreign visitors since March 28.
A number of prominent figures have been left unable to link up with their respective employers as a result of those actions, with former Premier League stars Paulinho and Marko Arnautovic among those having been locked out of Asia.
While the former Tottenham and West Ham players failed to beat the lockdown in China, ex-Porto striker Hulk, and former Chelsea forward Oscar, did beat the deadline and can train with Shanghai SIPG.
Paulinho and Arnautovic could see a door opened for them in the near future, with special visas said to be one of the options being discussed by the football authorities in China.
As the CSL endeavours to find a way of getting fixture lists back in place, questions remain when it comes to 2019-20 campaigns across the globe.
There have been suggestions that Germany will not bring football back until August, while the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga are no nearer to knowing if or when they will be able to get seasons finished .