The novel coronavirus is still making waves at the moment. Sports and sports personnel are handicapped; they are even contemplating and thinking about how to bring sports back to life. Spain’s top sport government officials have come out to say, coronavirus or not, and fans may return to the soccer stadium next week.
Good news for soccer enthusiasts. What is soccer without fans? What is soccer without the heartfelt cheers?
President of the Spanish sports council Irene Lozano, in an interview with the radio network COPE, believes fans could return with some restrictions, conditions will be put in place to make this possible. “We haven’t ruled that out, depending on how the pandemic progresses and how the situation progresses, we can start looking into putting a certain number of fans into the stadium next season.”
The league expected to resume in the second week of June without the fans after it was suspended three months ago due to the pandemic. “Right now, the main goal is to be able to finish the season, and it is clear that the best option now is to do it with matches behind closed doors,” she said. “But we have to take into consideration that as we return to a new normality, having fans back into the stadium can be done as long as we follow the health safety measures in place.”
One of Lozano’s expectations is to fill only a few parts of the stadium to promote the social distancing protocol. Also, facemasks and gloves must be worn by fans to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. She believes Spain can carry this out without stress and difficulties since they are always leading the way in safely organizing sports events.
She claims there is a model they need to find that will help take into account a lot of safety measures and guarantees. The government also seems to be considering allowing the media, journalists into the league matches, and they think it will be possible if they maintain the social distancing guidelines.
All clubs are also expected to resume training beginning next week. Lozano also touched on the issues of the Sevilla players who broke protocol in a gathering with a large group of people last week. She demands an immediate apology from them, and she stated that the careless attitude of theirs would not be permitted to risk the health of everyone else.
On Wednesday, the Spanish sports federation said it would allow games to be played on Mondays and Tuesdays until the end of the season. Though the leagues’ president Javier Tebas wanted matches to play every day, the federation was firmly against it.
The federation said it “wants to show its goodwill” clearly and is also willing to extend the exception into the beginning of next season, depending on how the pandemic progresses and if games will continue to be played without fans.
The comeback is on for other sports organizations
The way sports organization are handling their comebacks is just impressive, from Esports to hockey. The hockey organization, for instance, is planning a return, and they devised a phase 1 plan that included self-distancing and quarantine protocols. Phase 2 was presented in a 21-page memorandum, which included player testing, wearing of face masks and gloves, players and staff must self administer temperature symptoms checks, and so on.
Hopefully, the Spain sports government will come out with their phase and monitor developments of the virus. They said fans will wear protective gear to stop the spread, but will that be enough? What about the players and the staff? How are they going to go about it?
The Spanish football federation had stated in March to temporarily suspend all football matches, men and women’s games, futsal and non-professional games. A statement released by the federation had said it would not return until the relevant authorities and the Spanish government considering it will come back at no risk of health. I guess that was their phase 1 action. Contemplating the comeback of fans into stadiums is surely the phase 2 plan, and we’re down for it.
Fans will be glad to have a sports comeback and will be anticipating every bit of it.