The German Bundesliga’s decision to continue their season has prompted La Liga to follow in their footsteps. The Spanish top-flight will continue – so long as nothing gets in the way – on June 20th.
COVID-19 put major European football leagues into hibernation in March. France, Belgium and Holland abandoned their respective seasons, however, other countries feel it is necessary to come to a fairer conclusion by resuming the football calendar. Italy, England and Spain all desire a similar sporting restart plan to Germany’s. However, it is much more difficult to resume the beautiful game in these countries, due to the Coronavirus hitting harder.
Clubs in Spain’s top two divisions held mandatory testing for players last Wednesday. Manager of 19th-placed Leganes Javier Aguirre has revealed Spain’s plans to finish the season. In an interview with a Spanish outlet, Aguirre said: “We already have a start date for the league,” Aguirre said in an interview with a local media outlet.
“On June 20, we will start La Liga and in five weeks we will be officially finished, on July 26. It will be played on Saturday-Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday, over 11 dates.
“La Liga has just informed me officially and I am very happy about this because we already have training scheduled.”
Despite these claims seeming fairly reliable, a La Liga official later rebuffed Aguirre’s statement. The Spokesman clarified that there hasn’t been an official date set for football’s return to Spain.
He said: “There are no confirmed dates to return to competition. We will begin training sessions and then wait for the government’s decision about the established dates.
“Our intention is to return to competition in June as long as the government decides it is ok to do so.”
The country’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, reiterated that fans would not be able to go to a match.
He said: “We hope that leagues and federations will come to a decision soon.
“We already started to allow individual training sessions for team sports, we hope [a return] will come sooner rather than later but we’ll see it first on television rather than in the stadiums, I’m afraid.”
Although these plans seem sensible, it seems as if the people that are being affected the most by this decision are being controlled like puppets. Some players’ opinions aren’t being heard, yet, it’s their safety that’s being compromised. The Coronavirus tests aren’t completely reliable, so players will be at a large risk.
Eibar players have come together and voiced their view: “It worries us that by doing what we like most, we could get infected and infect our family and friends and even contribute to a new wave of the pandemic – with the terrible consequences that would have for the whole population.”
“The health of everyone should be the most important thing and now is the time to back this idea up with actions and not just words. We ask for guarantees and we demand responsibility.”
However, other players are eager to play. Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, says he “can’t wait to get playing and competing as long as there is no risk of contagion”.
Croatia and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic “thinks it is time for those who are involved in football to take a step forward.”