A new consortium comprising experts in sports, design and academia has been formed to push the development of more accessible stadia in Spain.

The members of the Estadio Accesible group include international experts with experience in new and upgraded sports facilities in England and Germany, according to Spanish news agency EFE, although further details were not revealed.

The aim of the consortium will be to improve accessibility at Spanish venues, with the group hoping to work with LaLiga, as well as the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and clubs themselves.

Estadio Accesible’s will offer advice on legislation, as well as consultancy and online training services, whilst liaising with fan representatives to ensure standards are raised. The group pinpointed success stories such as the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid (pictured) and the new San Mamés in Bilbao, but added that such developments were outliers in a country where accessibility “remains an issue”.

In other news in Spain, LaLiga president Javier Tebas appears to have admitted defeat in his goal to welcome fans back to top-tier stadia before the end of the delayed 2019-20 season.

Following its return to action on June 11, LaLiga last month set out a series of guidelines regarding the return of spectators, with Tebas having been vocal in his ambition to get fans back through the turnstiles as soon as possible.

However, Tebas said yesterday (Thursday): “Right now, LaLiga is not prioritising the return of supporters to stadiums.

“The big problem is the crowds inside and outside the stadium. We had problems with the Asturian derby [between Sporting Gijon and Real Oviedo] as there were more than 2,000 people outside. We can’t afford to kid ourselves, because if we aren’t careful there could be a second wave.”

Spanish Secretary for Sport Irene Lozano, who has consistently warned against fans returning too soon, added: “The safest thing to do is to complete the season without spectators.

“Football moves masses of people – it’s not like the theatre. A match behind-closed-doors is attended by only 250 people, but a stadium only at one-third of its capacity could mean 30,000 people. That’s why it’s different to other activities.”

Image: fernandopascullo