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La Liga, Spanish FA agree training restart protocol

La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have agreed a return to training protocol for professional players in the country after the coronavirus outbreak, the Spanish National Sports Council (CSD) announced on Monday.

Spain’s top division has been suspended since March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak which has so far killed more than 20,800 people, the third-highest number of deaths in the world after the United States and Italy.

“This decision remains controlled by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and by the decisions adopted by the Ministry of Health,” the CSD said in a statement.

La Liga clubs will train again “when health conditions allow it, and by following strict health protocols,” it added.

According to local media reports La Liga has already outlined a proposition which includes testing players as well as a progression from individual training to sessions with whole squads. 

League chief Javier Tebas last week said play could restart as early as next month, although a fortnight extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 9 announced on Saturday appears to have scuppered those plans.

During the weekend’s meeting between La Liga, the RFEF and the CSD, which reportedly took more than eight hours, the trio decided television income from football would be used to save other sports.

“The La Liga presidents and the federation have committed to create a contingency fund of 10 million euros ($10.86 million) to help vulnerable sports, and have invited other entities like the players union to take part,” the CSD’s statement said.

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