Sevilla derby to kickoff Spanish League restart; 2020-21 season to begin in September, says La Liga chief Javier Tebas
Following a three-month suspension due to coronavirus pandemic, top-flight Spanish League (La Liga) will resume on June 11 behind closed doors.with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis, the government’s department for sport (CSD) confirmed on Friday.
Spain’s La Liga president Javier Tebas also announced that the next season will start on September 12.
On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave permission for the country’s top two divisions to resume from June 8.
Games are expected to be played every day up to the end of the season on July 19, with European competitions expected to be played after the end of the domestic leagues.
The Spanish government’s department for sport said agreements had been reached with La Liga and the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) after football was suspended in Spain on March 12.
“At a meeting of the contact group they form alongside the CSD, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and La Liga have agreed to the format of the final 11 rounds of fixtures of La Liga and the second division,” said the statement.
“The competition will restart on the weekend of June 13 and 14, with the first match being Sevilla’s game with Real Betis on Thursday June 11.
“The last round of matches will take place, provisionally and depending on the evolution of the virus, on the weekend of July 18 and 19.”
Tebas said: “The important thing will be when the season finishes, although we’ll only be able to congratulate ourselves when we start the following season.
“God willing, that day will be September 12 and hopefully we’ll be able to say we have overcome this most difficult period, but at least we will be better prepared.”
Tebas said audiovisual testing is being carried out so fans have a choice of different viewing experiences when football returns behind closed doors.
Those watching at home can choose from two options – the real ‘silence’ from the stadiums or ‘simulation of the crowds’ with noises being played.
La Liga players started training in groups of no more than ten last week and Tebas said the next objective is to progress to full training.
Defending champions Barcelona are two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table with 11 matches remaining while there are just five points separating clubs competing for European qualification, from third to seventh spot.
Discussions are also ongoing between league officials over the possibility of giving fans an option to watch the original feed from the empty stadiums or an alternative one with crowds superimposed on the stands, similar to those in video games.
On Thursday, the English Premier League (EPL) said it will return to action on June 17 with 92 fixtures this season still to be played.
(With inputs from agencies)
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