Govt ends hopes of Belgium soccer restart

Any lingering hopes that Belgian football might go back on a decision to cancel their season and restart the campaign, ended on Wednesday as the government extended a ban on sports events until July 31.

Belgium's Pro League was the first in Europe to end its 2019-20 season, amid the COVID-19 crisis, but the decision made by the league's board in early April was still to be ratified by the 24-member clubs.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes announced at a news conference on that shops will reopen and people will be allowed to visit each other from Sunday but said sports competitions could not restart before August.

Meanwhile, cash from former players Marouane Fellaini and Axel Witsel has helped save Standard Liege from expulsion from Belgium's top flight after they successfully appealed the withdrawal of their professional licence.

Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Fellaini, now playing in China, has loaned the club 3-million euros ($A5.0 million) while Borussia Dortmund's Witsel has invested in a company that has bought the club's stadium and will rent it back to them, Belgian media reported.

Elsewhere in Europe, Serbia's first and second divisions will resume on May 30 without spectators, while the lower leagues will not carry on this season, the Balkan nation's football association (FSS) said on Wednesday.

The decision means the top two tiers comprising 16 clubs each will play another four rounds of matches to complete the regular season, while championship and relegation playoffs requiring an additional seven rounds have been scrapped.

Neighbouring Croatia's season will resume with cup ties on May 30 followed by league action on June 6 pending government approval, its football association (HNS) said on Wednesday.

"In accordance with the situation related to the pandemic, the national civil protection authorities will have the final say," the HNS said on the body's website.

The Turkish soccer league plans to resume on June 12, a month and a half after it was suspended.

Turkish soccer federation president Nihat Ozdemir said he hopes to finish the season by the end of July and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.