With live football returning in Germany this weekend, the union representing players in the League of Ireland, the PFAI, has said that its members are overwhelmingly in favour of returning to action even if that means playing behind closed doors.

In the survey 87% of players said that they were keen to return to play once it is safe to do so.

They believe that the governing body and the clubs have now been given a clear mandate to restart football.

The last game played in the League of Ireland Premier Division before restrictions came into place was 70 days ago between Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers, with most clubs having played only four or five matches.

Dundalk goalkeeper and PFAI chairman Gary Rogers said the lack of certainty over a return to action was "concerning for players" but feels the FAI have been "given a mandate" from the players to plan for a return.

"It's probably been easier for players with European football later in the year to look forward to but for the league as a whole with no start date pencilled in yet it’s concerning for players," said Rogers.

"The governing body now and the clubs have been given a mandate by the players to return to football.

"It's up to them parties to thrash out the negotiations to see what they can do in order to restart football. It’s starting all over Europe this weekend with Germany, and other European countries have also got their start dates pencilled in so we’ll see how it develops from here."

Testing for Covid-19 will be an essential part of the protocol, with PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness adding that "testing is a key part of the survey that we did with players and 88% of the players want to be tested on the return to training, 92% said they would be comfortable with being tested twice a week. So I do think testing is very much key to the return of our players playing".