LaLiga

Irene Lozano, president of Spain’s National Sports Council (CSD), has said that fans will not be able to attend football matches when the top two divisions resume their seasons later this month following COVID-19.

The Segunda División is set to resume on June 10 before the top-tier LaLiga returns the following day with the derby match between Sevilla and Real Betis.

Segunda División side Las Palmas, which is based in Gran Canaria, announced earlier this week that it was hoping to allow fans to attend its home match against Girona on June 13. The COVID-19 infection rate is relatively low in the Canary Islands and Las Palmas president Miguel Angel Ramirez cited this as a reason for letting fans attend the match.

However, Lozano has said it would be impossible for fans to attend matches as this would create an unfair advantage for home teams who are able to play in front of their own supporters.

“Right now it’s impossible to have fans in the stadiums for sporting reasons,” Lozano told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. “The agreement we reached with LaLiga was to restart the campaign behind closed doors.

“We have to respect the integrity of the competition, LaLiga is a national competition and we made a big effort to ensure teams trained in the same conditions. Until all provinces are in the same phase of de-escalation it’s impossible to have matches with crowds.”

On Las Palmas, Lozano added: “The president of Las Palmas spoke about this on his own volition. A competition is a collaboration between many people and it’s vital that everyone works together. If everyone starts inventing new ideas and rules then the product is not good.”

Lozano said it might be possible for supporters to attend matches once Spain is no longer in a state of emergency.

Bloomfield Stadium

Bloomfield Stadium in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv has fitted a tunnel that will spray people with disinfectant mist in a move designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The top-tier Israeli Premier League has resumed with matches behind closed doors and the tunnel will be in place until the end of the season. Electrolysed water will be used as the disinfectant spray and the tunnel has been introduced after researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University developed technology to prolong the usability of the water.

The disinfectant system has been fitted by Israeli automation company RD Pack. Anyone walking through the tunnel will spark a sensor, which will then spray the sanitising mist for 15 seconds.

Although players will not be obliged to use the tunnel, it has been used extensively in the three matches Bloomfield Stadium has hosted since Saturday. It is estimated that between 100 and 200 people have used the tunnel before each match.

“Most people want to go through it,” Eran Druker, vice-president of business development at RD Pack, told Reuters. “They feel much more secure.”

Bloomfield Stadium has a capacity of 29,000 and is home to Tel Aviv’s three Premier League football clubs.

Lazio

Italian Serie A football club Lazio has invited fans to send in pictures of themselves to be placed in stands at the Stadio Olimpico when matches resume behind closed doors later this month.

The ‘Tu Non Sarai Mai Sola’ initiative (You Will Never Be Alone) will allow fans to choose which seat their 75x45cm picture will occupy at the stadium. When the stadium eventually reopens, fans will find their picture waiting for them on their seat. The pictures will also be signed by club captain Senad Lulić.

Proceeds from the purchases of the pictures will be donated to the Italian Red Cross to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The initiative will run into next season if needed.

Coritiba

Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A club Coritiba has launched a campaign to reward fans’ loyalty through the COVID-19 crisis by giving them the chance to have their name engraved at “prominent spaces” of the Couto Pereira stadium.

The campaign has been dubbed ‘Galeria que Nunca Abandona’, which translates as ‘Gallery that never leaves’.

More details will be released in due course, but the initiative will allow fans to have their names engraved on designated plaques at the stadium. fans will also be able to buy an identical version of the plaque to keep as their own.

Amsterdam Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam reopened to the public yesterday (Wednesday) with a free film screening as part of a drive-in cinema initiative.

The screening was opened to key workers, with the initiative having been organised by Dutch film director Martin Koolhoven, who will introduce the film being shown.

Meetings of 30 people have been allowed in the Netherlands since Monday and the drive-in cinema will follow these guidelines. From July 1, gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed and the stadium is planning on launching drive-in experiences for the public from this date.

Image: Frobles