COVID-19 impact: Testing time for La Liga

Updated: May 08, 2020, 08:23 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

Spanish League's India chief Antonio Cachaza highlights de-escalation programme ahead of season resumption

Atletico Madrid's star striker Diego Costa arrives for a Coronavirus 
test at Majadahonda, Madrid on Wednesday. Pic
Atletico Madrid's star striker Diego Costa arrives for a Coronavirus test at Majadahonda, Madrid on Wednesday. Pic

The Spanish football league is all set to resume in June and La Liga's India managing director Jose Antonio Cachaza has revealed that they will resort to maximum testing of players to allay any fears of them contracting COVID-19.

Spain is one of the worst hit countries with around two lakh COVID-19 cases till date.

Most La Liga teams have been allowed to return to training this week after the government eased lockdown restrictions. However, the fear of contracting the Coronavirus is widespread, said Cachaza, for which a four-phase de-escalation programme is being introduced to ensure all players are free of the infection.

"The current week is only for testing of the players and preparing the grounds," Cachaza said in an online media interaction from Spain.

Jose Antonio Cachaza
Jose Antonio Cachaza

"Once players are fit to play, we will disinfect the venues. All matches will be played behind closed doors with a maximum of 250 people to avoid any unwanted situation," he added.

When asked what happens if a player tests positive once the season starts, Cachaza said: "That can always be the case. If you see the Bundesliga, they are about to start their season but still have positive cases. We will be ensuring testing at regular intervals as well to keep a check on players." Unlike the English Premier League and the Bundesliga, the La Liga is yet to finalise on a date to resume the season as Cachaza said they are awaiting authorisation from the Spanish government. "We are in constant talks with the government and as of now, we have authorisation to only start with training. Next week, the players will be allowed to train on their own, with a maximum of six players on the pitch. The following week [May 18 onwards], players will be permitted to train in small groups before a return to larger team sessions,"2020-05-08 Cachaza explained.

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