Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has given La Liga hope of returning by the middle of next month after confirming football will be allowed to come back from June 8.
The top two tiers of Spanish football have been suspended since March 12 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the seasons are now clear to resume following Saturday’s address:
Spain has suffered close to 29,000 deaths because of COVID-19, the third-highest total in Europe and fourth worldwide, according to data collated by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
Prime Minister Sanchez gave the green light for La Liga to restart by the rumoured June 12 date in his latest statement, per BBC Sport:
"Spain has done what it should and now new horizons are opening for everyone. The time has come to bring back many day-to-day activities.
"From 8 June, La Liga will be back. Spanish football has a huge following but it will not be the only recreational activity that will return."
Teams from the top two divisions returned to training in groups of up to 10 players on Monday, though squads are still required to obey social-distancing measures.
La Liga president Javier Tebas tweeted following Sanchez’s announcement (tweet in Spanish) that he was “very happy with the decision.” The league figurehead has indicated his intention to play games every day in an effort to fast-track the schedule following three months out of action.
Sid Lowe of the Guardian commented on the decision to permit football from June 8 (a Monday), suggesting it strengthens the odds of football resuming the following weekend:
Barcelona are two points ahead of title challengers Real Madrid with 11 games to play, while Mallorca, Leganes and Espanyol make up the bottom three as things stand.
The Bundesliga was the first of Europe’s five major leagues to resume on May 16, though Germany has had fewer than 8,500 coronavirus-related deaths (as of Saturday).
Reports suggest the Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla will be the first top-flight fixture held since the lockdown began.