LaLiga president Javier Tebas has revealed that the top tier of Spanish football could resume on June 11 with the derby match between Sevilla and Real Betis.
LaLiga has been suspended for over two months following the COVID-19 outbreak but Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has given the green light for the league to resume as early as June 8 – if the country is able to continue limiting the impact of the pandemic.
More than 28,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Spain. Tebas said a Seville derby would be an ideal match for LaLiga’s resumption and would honour those who have passed away.
Any return date would be dependent on health advice and would require sign-off from the government. LaLiga clubs were yesterday (Monday) able to resume training in groups of up to 14 players, compared to the previous limit of 10.
In an interview with Spanish broadcaster Movistar, Tebas said: “It will depend on how the training progresses, but hopefully it will be possible to restart with our first match on Thursday, June 11.”
Tebas said the first four rounds of LaLiga’s resumption will be announced in early June, with kick-off times to account for the high summer temperatures in Spain. The season was suspended with 11 rounds of matches still to be played.
The Euroleague Basketball governing body has cancelled the 2019-20 editions of its EuroLeague and EuroCup competitions.
Euroleague Basketball cited the health and safety of athletes, fans, staff, partners and local communities as one of the reasons for the decision. The two competitions have been suspended since March 12 following the COVID-19 outbreak.
The body also said that the varied evolution of COVID-19 in different territories does not guarantee that all teams can train and prepare for official games under the same conditions.
Although there had been a willingness among clubs and players to resume, it was decided that the health and safety concerns presented too much of an obstacle.
Euroleague Basketball president and chief executive Jordi Bertomeu said: “Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history. Due to reasons beyond our control, we have been forced to cut short the most successful and exciting season in European basketball history.”
The 2020-21 seasons of the EuroLeague and EuroCup are scheduled to start on October 1 and September 30, respectively.
Staying with basketball, and the NBA is in preliminary talks with The Walt Disney Company over a proposal that could see the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida host games from late July.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass told the Associated Press news agency that the conversations were “exploratory”, adding that the complex could not only stage games but also serve as a practice hub and provide housing for players.
The complex spans 255 acres and features multiple arenas, with the NBA Players Association also involved in the talks between Disney and the league.
The NBA has been suspended since March 11, becoming the first major US league to come to a halt following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bass said in a statement: “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
It has previously been reported that Major League Soccer is considering a similar plan to resume the season with all teams playing at the Disney complex.
The 2019-20 seasons of the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship have been ended with immediate effect, the English Football Association (FA) has announced.
The FA said the decision has been made in the best interest of the women’s game following “overwhelming” feedback from clubs.
It is hoped the decision will enable clubs, the FA and the leagues to focus on preparing for the 2020-21 season.
It has not been confirmed how the league champions will be determined. Manchester City is currently top of the table, one point ahead of Chelsea, which has played one game fewer.