According to reports, the top football clubs of the La Liga – the top domestic football arena of Spain, will begin testing their players for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in what is being described as the first step towards restarting the league in the country in June,
The imposition of one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe was imposed in Spain in an effort to prevent the spread of the pandemic which forced athletes in the country to train at home since early March. Recently however, the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that those athletes can start individual training at facilities starting next Monday.
As part of phase one of La Liga’s protocol for a return to activity, all of the players and staff of the clubs will have to mandatorily undergo a RT-PCR test for the virus as well as a serology test before they can restart training.
The second phase of the protocol for a return to activity is the starting of individual training which can be initiated as soon as May 6. The third phase of the strategy is to being training in small groups of up to eight players. The last stage of the program is to allow full group training which has to be carried out for at least two weeks without any incidents of infection for the real football action to begin.
According to reports, it is possible to complete all the four phases of the plan within just one month which means football matches involving the top clubs of Spain could restart by the middle of June.
For La Liga and Spain’s second division, there are 11 weeks remaining of the campaign. It would also be necessary to schedule the Copa del Rey final and second division playoff matches.
All of the important sports institutions in Spain, which includes the government’s department for sport, have pledged to get the seasons completed, even though most of the top divisions in France and the Netherlands have been declared finished because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There can be collective losses of up to one billion euros ($1.09bn) if the season is not finished, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said previously. On the other hand, the sports ministry of the government has stressed on the need for restarting of sports and games for the boosting of the economy as well as to give people a sense of returning of normality in life.
“Sport is going to return,” the sports minister Irene Lozano said on Twitter on Wednesday.
“It will return in phases and will be determined by the evolution of the pandemic and with measures on distance and hygiene, but it will return. Thanks to all the athletes for your commitment, strength and resistance during the hiatus. You are an example.”
He was desperate to return to action, said Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
“I’m dying of excitement to return to the Santiago Bernabeu wearing the Real Madrid shirt and for things returning to as they were before,” he told the club’s television channel. “That will take time, but we’ll leave it in the hands of the specialists and when there’s no risk we’ll be delighted to return.”
(Adapted from AlJazeera.com)