The Sports and Health ministries, through their incumbents, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes and Carolina Darias, have given the go-ahead for the public to return to the stands of professional football stadiums, but only for the communities in phase 1, with a cumulative incidence of less than 50 cases. It is a very controversial decision based on the latest accumulated incidence data of the pandemic, but it represents a jug of cold water for the expectations of La Liga, which had a much less restrictive agreement. In principle, fans will be able to attend the first matches next weekend only in Valencian Community, Galicia Y Baleares.
“We have thought about it a lot, we have made a protocol and the fundamental criterion is that the public returns to those territories in phase 1 of pandemic, where the health situation is better,” Uribes explained. «The return continues to have these principles of caution so that it can be done with guarantees. It has been decided that they are in territories in phase 1 there will be a 30 percent capacity with a ceiling of 5,000 people.
The measure takes effect immediately and is valid for the last two days of First division and the last four, plus the promotion playoff, in Second. The measure also affects the parties of the Endesa Basketball League, the other professional competition that still awaited the return of its fans.
Minister Uribes assured that the measure that the Spanish team will play in La Cartuja during Euro 2020, “with a capacity of up to 16,000 spectators, has also influenced the measure.”
For this return, the League has worked with a maximum document that, among other things, regulates a limited capacity for this first phase, with nominal tickets, exact entry times to the stadium, groups of two people with a minimum safety distance of two meters, and the prohibition of getting up, eating and smoking. The use of an FFP2 mask will be required and the temperature will be taken at the entrance. Available seats will be clearly marked with stickers, and access will be restricted to fans of visiting teams.
There will be no problem that the return is only in these two communities, because in its day the delegate commission of the League already accepted the possibility that the public could only enter some stadiums.
A year and two months have passed since the last professional match with the public on Spanish soil. It was on March 8, 2020, a Betis-Real Madrid from matchday 27 of the last League. Now, the return may be effective in several meetings this weekend: Castellón-Mirandés (16.00) and Lugo Ponferradina (18.30) on Saturday and Valencia-Eibar, Villarreal-Seville (18.30) and Mallorca-Alcorcón Monday (21.30).
This Wednesday the president of the Higher Sports Council, Jose Manuel Franco, anticipates this return, although he showed his concern about possible crowds: «We all agree on the need for Spanish society to gradually recover normality and optimism. But we must not forget that we are still, in some Autonomous Communities, with very worrying figures and what cannot be done is, to anticipate deadlines, take unnecessary health risks. We are going to do it in a consensual manner and prioritizing health security ».
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism