Sporting Lisbon President to Work as Doctor During Coronavirus Pandemic

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

FARO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 4:  Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP with Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the end of the Portuguese SuperCup match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP at Estadio Algarve on August 4, 2019 in Faro, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Sporting Lisbon President Frederico Varandas has announced he will work as a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic "as long as Portugal needs it."

According to ESPN FC's Adriana GarciaVarandas is a specialist in sports medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is also a decorated army captain.

The 40-year-old, who has been president of Sporting since 2018, took to Instagram (h/t Garcia) to explain his decision:

"For the generations of our parents and grandparents, but also for this generation that cannot grow up in a country suffocated in another serious economic crisis. For all of them, for Portugal ... come on. Each in its own way.

"Some taking care of the sick, others making bread, others informing the Portuguese people, others working on their services to keep the economy and the country up. I served my country; today I will return to do so as long as the state of emergency continues...and I will return to do so always as long as Portugal needs it. Let's do it. Let's do it with everything."

Portuguese football was suspended indefinitely last week after it was initially decided all matches should be played behind closed doors:

There have been 785 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Portugal and three deaths, per the World Health Organization. Portugal's President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in a bid to control the spread.

As with the rest of Europe, it is impossible to establish when football may resume in Portugal.

Sporting's last fixture was a 2-0 home win over nine-man Desportivo Aves on March 8. Andraz Sporar and Luciano Vietto were the goalscorers.

It left them fourth in the Primeira Liga after 24 games, four points clear of fifth-placed Rio Ave but 17 back from Benfica in the second UEFA Champions League spot.

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