Having largely ground to a halt around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, football is finally beginning to re-emerge.
In Europe, the German Bundesliga was given the go-ahead on Wednesday to resume behind closed doors this month, with the Turkish Super Lig set to follow in June.
But in one Asian country friendlies have already been played and a competitive campaign will belatedly get under way this week.
South Korea was one of the first nations outside China to be hit by a Covid-19 outbreak and consequently its K-League, scheduled to start in February, was postponed indefinitely while much of the world was still playing.
On Friday, their players will join those of Belarus, Burundi, Tajikistan and Nicaragua – where league football carried on amid the pandemic – in taking to the field competitively.
Jeonbuk Motors – who have been champions for the past three seasons – face Suwon Bluewings in the opening game.
As well as the exclusion of supporters, special safety measures will be in place, including the banning of handshakes, restrictions on players talking to team-mates, opponents and officials, and coaches having to wear face masks.
“Excessive spitting or blowing of the nose is prohibited and players should refrain from close conversations,” said K-League communication officer Woo Cheoung-sik.
“During the game, players who habitually spit or talk closely will be warned.”