Spanish Segunda División football club Las Palmas has revealed that it is working on plans to allow fans to attend matches when the season resumes later this month.
The club is based in Gran Canaria and president Miguel Angel Ramirez has cited the relatively low infection rate for COVID-19 in the Canary Islands as a reason for allowing supporters to safely attend matches at Estadio Gran Canaria.
Ramirez has spoken with Ángel Victor Torres, president of the government of the Canary Islands; Antonio Morales, president of Gran Canaria; and LaLiga president Javier Tebas about the proposal.
Las Palmas said in a statement that Torres, Morales and Tebas have “shown great sensitivity” to the proposal and have offered to develop health protocols. Las Palmas is due to welcome Girona to Estadio Gran Canaria on June 13.
Ramirez told UDRádio: “We will comply with all of the measures that authorities ask of us and we can announce that Las Palmas fans will be able to attend the stadium to cheer on their team from 13 June against Girona.
“I have just been speaking to Ángel Víctor Torres and Antonio Morales, and due to our circumstances, we could be the only club in the top two divisions to play again with fans in the stands.”
Some of the smaller Canary Islands have been cleared to move to Phase Three of Spain’s lockdown relaxation plan and it has been reported that Gran Canaria could be one of the larger islands to follow suit. According to Ramirez, moving to Phase Three would enable the club to open up to 30 per cent of the stadium for fans.
On Friday, Nemzeti Bajnokság, the top tier of Hungarian football, set a first for Europe by returning fans to its stadia. Social distancing rules applied, with no more than one seat in four used and every second row of a stand remaining empty. The match between the bottom two clubs, Kapsovar and ZTE, was the first to be tested.
Italy’s Serie A could also allow fans back into stadia as early as next month after the league outlined its plans to resume play on June 20.
“I sincerely hope to be able to see a small presence at the stadium for the end of the season,” Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. “It is unthinkable that in a stadium with 60,000 spectators there can be no space for a minimum percentage with all the necessary precautions.”
The Serie A season will resume on June 20 with Torino’s home match against Parma.
Returning to Spain, and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has confirmed that the Laliga club will play its home matches at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano, the home of its reserve team, while construction work is carried out at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
In a letter to fans, Perez explained that the decision also takes into account the fact that fans will not be allowed to attend matches.
Perez also informed season ticket holders that the club would be in touch over the coming days over ways they can be reimbursed for matches that will now be held behind closed doors.