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La Liga plans for 197 people to attend games but no restriction on celebrations | Football


One hundred and ninety-seven people will attend each match when Spanish football returns, according to a protocol prepared by La Liga and seen by the Guardian.

A detailed draft drawn up by the league and presented to the clubs outlines the measures to be applied, with players and officials set to undergo Covid-19 tests 24 hours before games and have their temperatures taken on the way into stadiums. There will be no pre-match handshakes, but there is no suggestion that spitting or goal celebrations will be banned. Indeed, the section dedicated to the match itself is a solitary sentence in a 34-page document.

The draft document comes as Spanish football accelerates plans to return, pending government approval. Teams were permitted to move to collective training sessions on Monday, with groups of up to 10 players able to work together. The hope is to be able to return on 12 June, with games to be played every day until the conclusion of the competition on 31 July, ready for Uefa competition matches to begin. The league’s president, Javier Tebas, has described the risk to players during matches as “practically zero” if the protocols for training and matches are applied properly.

The first draft was presented to clubs on Friday, although it will be revised and must be cleared by the health authorities. It proposes venues be divided into three zones: green and blue inside the stadium and red outside, where plans are in place to prevent gatherings of fans.

In the first division only 94 people will be allowed into the green zone, including 22 starters, 18 additional squad players, 16 members of the coaching and medical staff, six Red Cross staff, six police officers or stewards, five matchday officials, and four ballboys. There will also be security staff, TV production people, VAR operators and groundsmen.

The home team will turn up first, with players given staggered time-slots for arrival. Visitors will arrive next, with players sitting alone on the team bus. In the event of there being more than 25 people in the party, it will be obliged to travel in two buses. Away teams will only be allowed to use chartered flights or trains for travel and physical-distancing must be observed in hotels, with food individually prepared. Players will undergo coronavirus tests 24 hours before games and must have a medical certificate to be cleared to play.

There will be three access points to the stadium, with players and referees given an entry point of their own. They must arrive wearing gloves and face masks. Hand gel will be made available at every entry point and must be applied pre-game. Dressing rooms will be disinfected and sealed 24 hours in advance, with kitmen breaking the seal three hours before kick-off, laying out kit in individual sealed plastic bags. Bins will be provided to remove kit. Players will be obliged to change at half-time. Conditions in dressing rooms should be 21C with between 50-60% humidity.

The blue zone will be occupied be 103 people in first division games, including officials from the clubs, security, and almost 40 members of staff from the TV companies. Technicians from the league’s statistical analysis programme will attend, and their data will be utilised to map contact and possible contagions should a player test positive for coronavirus. There will be no journalists allowed beyond TV rights holders and clubs’ own media. Full lists of all those attending games will be provided in advance and post-match press conferences will be conducted remotely.



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Written by sortiwa

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