Costa Rica became the first Latin American country to restart its top national football league on Tuesday in a game played without fans and with substitutes sitting in the stands.

Guadalupe secured a 1-0 home win over Limon in the first Liga FPD clash since the competition was suspended on March 15 because of the coronavirus outbreak, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It is difficult to play again. We feel heavy, but we’re happy to return,” said Arturo Campos, Guadalupe’s goalscorer.

The match was the first of six fixtures scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Central American nation.

The Liga FPD’s 12 teams resumed training on May 15 under strict health protocols. Among the new rules are a ban on hugging when players celebrate goals and a requirement that substitutes watch games from spectator seats to comply with social distancing rules.

Recently, Bundesliga became the first high-profile sporting league to resume after the coronavirus pandemic had suspended almost all sporting activity around the world.

Meanwhile, La Liga, Premier League as well as the Serie A are mulling when and how to resume the football season. Countries are gradually allowing players to resume training so they are geared up for the football season which may resume from mid-June onwards.

The virus has so far infected more than 4.8 million people around the world while claiming over 3,00,000 lives.

(With inputs from IANS)