Spanish top-flight teams are back training in groups of up to 10 as La Liga eyes a return to action on June 12, though governing bodies are yet to confirm an official date.
Clubs from the top two tiers of Spanish football were granted permission to restart training in small groups as of Monday. La Liga president Javier Tebas published a statement, which read (via Sky Sports):
“The start of the next phase in LaLiga's Return to Training protocol is another step towards the restarting of the competition.
“It will be good to be able to set all training routines on an equal footing. It's very important that every club have the same chance to be in good shape. It's not essential, but it's very important and we're grateful that it will be like that.”
The president has promoted the concept of playing games every day of the week in an effort to catch up on the football calendar. The competition has been suspended for more than two months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to almost 28,000 deaths in Spain, per the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
AFP’s Tom Allnutt provided reaction from La Liga after it confirmed eight positive COVID-19 tests from more than 2,500 samples taken from the top two divisions earlier in May (including players and club staff):
Tebas also hailed the Bundesliga’s successful return to action from May 16, citing German football as an example to follow for Europe’s other major leagues:
“I'm very happy, and I've congratulated them because they've taken a very important step.
“We've worked hard on this together over the past months, we've exchanged protocols, ideas, we spoke once or twice every week.
“I'm very proud of the Bundesliga. It wasn't easy. They were the first to get up and running and they're an example to follow.”
Sid Lowe of the Guardian reported La Liga protocols intended to allow 197 people to attend matches, which will take place behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. Both players and officials will undergo coronavirus tests 24 hours before each game and have their temperatures taken en route to the stadia, though the protocols must still be signed off by Spain’s health ministry.
Barcelona sit atop La Liga and are two points in front of Real Madrid as things stand. Just two points separates Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in third and sixth, respectively, with Real Sociedad and Getafe sandwiched between them, in that order.