LaLiga to finally have fans back in fixtures



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Spanish fans to be allowed back into stadiums Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

With the COVID-19 situation taking a turn for the better in Spain – a country till few months back totally bruised by the fatal virus which took a huge toll on lives – Spain’s Ministry of Health and the High Council of Sports (CSD) have greenlighted the protocol drawn up by LaLiga for the return of fans to stadia and the decision of the Ministry of Health to allow attendances of 30 percent of a stadium’s capacity – up to a maximum of 5,000 people – in venues located in autonomous communities currently in Phase 1.

‘LaLiga’ stated that in light of this decision, LaLiga, which has been waiting with bated breath for the return of fans for months now, has stressed the importance of greater flexibility regarding fan attendance, in order to encompass more clubs and allow fans to return sooner than scheduled.

LaLiga is the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system.

As a consequence, and respecting the Ministry of Health’s restrictions, for the rest of the LaLiga season – two remaining LaLiga Santander matchdays, four LaLiga SmartBank matchdays and the subsequent promotion playoff games – fans will be able to grace games in autonomous communities at present in Phase 1, which are: Valencia (City in Spain), Galicia (autonomous community of Spain), Balearic Islands (Archipelago in Spain), and Murcia (City in Spain).

‘LaLiga’ further stated that the above decision translates into the fact that in LaLiga Santander Matchday, 37 fans will be allowed to attend top-flight LaLiga teams Valencia CF’s clash against SD Eibar and LaLiga teams Villarreal CF vs. Sevilla FC, while supporter access will also be granted at CD Castellón (plays in the Segunda División) taking on SD Ponferradina (Spanish football team), CD Lugo( Segunda División) locking horns with CD Mirandés (Segunda División) and RCD Mallorca (Spanish football club) vs. AD Alcorcón (Segunda División) in LaLiga SmartBank Matchday 39.

LaLiga pointed out how much preparation, dedication and hard work have been put in during this time to make the return of fans to stadiums a reality. This has been achieved through the development and approval of careful access protocols which respect the security measures approved by the relevant authorities.

While being fully aware that the coronavirus threat is far from over, LaLiga expressed its desire for the return of fans to be allowed across the board and to made more flexible in the shortest possible time, extending supporter stadium access to other autonomous communities, if they themselves deem this viable. LaLiga matches will follow a strict protocol, complying with very demanding measures, which are even more stringent than those at other sporting and miscellaneous events currently allowing public access, which is why they consider the above decision to be somewhat inconsistent.

The Minister for Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, stated at the Inter-Territorial Health Council of the National Health System, “We will have public back inside the stadiums for football and basketball games. They will be allowed to return in the regions which are in Phase I of the pandemic, where the epidemiological figures are better. It will be with 30 percent of local fans with a limit of 5,000 spectators.”

Health Minister Carolina Darias gave details about the protocol which will be in place so that the public can return safely, “The return of the public will be possible in the regions currently in Phase I of the traffic light system. Members of the public attending these games will need to maintain a distance of 1.5 meter with other people at all times. Also, entry and exit of the ground will be staggered and in different sections of the venue. Those attending will not be allowed to eat, smoke and must wear a FFP2 mask, without exhalation valve. Temperature check will be done at the ingress points.”

The Government has delayed allowing the spectators back due to the epidemiological data about the COVID-19 virus in Spain. The state of emergency was lifted on May 9th. The country’s vaccine rollout has also been gathering pace in recent weeks, and those factors have contributed to the decision to let spectators back but only in the regions which are now in Phase I. The decisions on which territories can welcome back the onlookers will be reviewed weekly. If a region is not in Phase 1, spectators will not be allowed at fixtures.

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