LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool chairman Tom Werner believes having fans sat alongside each other in soccer stadiums remains "a long way off".
Premier League players returned to limited group training this week with hopes of a resumption of matches next month.
Yet Werner warns that it could be a while before Liverpool's Anfield Stadium is filled with fans.
"We are in a part of the world where we hope at some point people will be able to sit next to each other and enjoy the experience of a sporting event but that seems like a long way off at the moment," the American said in an interview shown on Sky Sports on Friday.
The Premier League was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic with runaway leaders Liverpool two victories away from clinching their first English title since 1990.
"It's a terrible situation we are all in and some day hopefully there will be a vaccine and we can return to the joy of being at a stadium and watching great footballers, but obviously the most important thing is safety," he said.
"I do think the protocols that the Premier league are working on, some would say make it safer to play in an empty stadium, than going to a supermarket. But there is going to be a tiny element of risk."
"But this is a very healthy group, as we know the more vulnerable population are older. There is going to be frequent testing. Most importantly, if the scientists and the government feel it's unsafe there will be no football, but hopefully we can figure out a way to give people some enjoyment."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)
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