Fabio Cannavaro believes it will be difficult for European football to return before the season ends amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport has been brought to a standstill due to COVID-19, with Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League all on hiatus.

The Champions League and Europa League finals have also been postponed, with Euro 2020 pushed back to next year following more than 18,800 deaths worldwide – over 9,800 of the casualties from Italy and Spain.

Former Italy, Juventus and Real Madrid defender Cannavaro – now in charge of Chinese Super League powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande – is not confident that football will resume by May.

“In less than a month it is not known what is going to happen in the world,” the 43-year-old told COPE.

“I think it will take a long time for this to end in Italy and Spain. It will be difficult for European football to return before the season ends.”

Cannavaro has been based in China since joining Evergrande in 2014 before returning in 2017, while he was briefly in charge of the national team last year.

China has enforced strict measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, which originated in the country and has claimed more than 3,270 lives.

“The virus in Guangzhou is under control and life is beginning to go back to normal,” Cannavaro added. “There are no more restrictions, only 14 days at home.

“In two days, I finish my quarantine. All of us who come back have to do it.

“Staying at home is essential because we do not give the virus the opportunity to infect more people.

“We have to learn from China, they have more experience in this situation.”

Former Everton and Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini became the first Chinese Super League player to test positive for coronavirus last weekend. 

The 32-year-old remains in good spirits however and shared a message of reassurance on social media. 

“Dear friends, I have been tested for coronavirus and my test result is positive. Currently, I am back in China and being treated in the hospital,” he wrote on Instagram

“I can assure you that everything is fine for me now. Thanks to the fans, medical staff and the club for their care and attention. I will follow the treatment and hope to return to the game as soon as possible.

“Please everyone stay safe.”