Football clubs in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank – Spain’s two highest divisions in the sport – are set to return to training this week with the aim of restarting the 2019-20 season behind closed doors in June.
The leagues have set out a Return to Training Protocol, detailing the plans for training and matches to resume as lockdown measures are eased in Spain. As part of this plan, players will be tested for novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and training facilities and stadia will be disinfected.
“This crisis has had a profound impact on all of us,” Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga, said. “The return of football is a sign that society is progressing towards the new normal. It will also bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love.
Players will initially train individually, but training will be scaled up gradually until whole squads may practice together.
“People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart LaLiga,” Tebas continued. “Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.”
La Liga was suspended – initially for two matchdays before the suspension was extended – on 12 March, when the Real Madrid squad went into quarantine after a player of the club’s basketball team tested positive for the virus.
The suspension came with 11 out of 38 games still to play and defending champions Barcelona two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table while Mallorca, Leganes and Espanyol sat in the relegation spots.
Last week (29 April), the French Football Federation (FFF) has said that all 2019-20 domestic leagues and competitions in the country will not resume, after Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced a ban on sporting events until September.
In Switzerland, however, sports will be permitted to resume behind closed doors from 8 June.