3 May 2020 – Footballers in Spain will return to training tomorrow (Monday, 4 May 2020) in the first phase of a four-stage plan La Liga hopes will see its remaining 11 rounds of fixtures played behind closed doors from June 13.
Players will at first train alone and their clubs have been given permission to test for Covid-19 at their discretion.
Testing of footballers has caused controversy in Spain with critics, including some players, arguing tests should first be made available to health workers. La Liga has privately purchased tests but only received the go-ahead to use them last week.
The Spanish Government’s Sports Council president Irene Lozano said: ‘The protocol includes carrying out tests when medically prescribed. Club doctors will be responsible. This is the way things are being done in other companies.’
La Liga president Javier Tebas criticised the decision taken in France this week to abandon the season. He said: ‘I do not understand why there would be more danger in playing football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures, than working on an assembly line.
‘If important economic sectors cannot restart, in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. That could happen to professional football.’
Cologne’s players are continuing to train despite three positive tests for coronavirus. Cologne team doctor Paul Klein said: ‘The experts evaluate it as such that, due to the hygiene and infection prevention measures in group training, we can continue to train with those who tested negatively as we had been.’
Sassuolo are set to become the first Serie A side to re-start training following the shutdown after saying their players could use the club’s facilities from tomorrow on an optional basis.
Bologna, meanwhile, say their players will be able to start training from Tuesday.