Javier Tebas, La Liga president, has settled on June 12 as the date the Spanish domestic football competitions will restart. He says he is confident that with daily player testing simply to train, and with immediate isolation for anyone testing positive and for anyone that person has been in contact with, that the risk to players will thus be “practically zero.”
Furthermore, players will be asked to arrive and leave their facilities individually, clubs will be restricted to small group trainings, and official games will be closed to fans. Twenty-four hours prior to game time, participating players will be tested as will officials and anyone with direct contact with the players. Matches will be played in empty stadiums.
There will be a phased approach to the reopening, Tebas emphasized, with each stage allowing a bit more freedom of action. But with a little less than a third of the schedule left to play, it may be phase one is all the league gets to experience.
Meanwhile, with a society still reeling from a quarter-million Covid-19 cases and a 10% death rate, the question will be—can the sustained drop in cases over the past several days be sustained between now and reopening day?
Real Madrid’s captain, Sergio Ramos, expressed his hope that “football could help the economy to work again” and at the very least provide a suffering populace with some moments of “distraction.”
At Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic was sounding the charge forward cry stating: “I think it is time for those of us in football to take a step forward.”
Yet, at Eibar and several other clubs, there is a tone of caution and concern, a feeling that past league promises of specific actions had not materialized. In a statement to a local radio station, the club’s squad pleaded: “We ask for guarantees and we demand responsibility,” in the manner that La Liga resumes its matches this season.