MIAMI, Fla. (30 April 2020) —
La Liga has indefinitely postponed a round of Covid-19 tests that they had proposed to carry out on Spain’s first-and-second division players next week as a preliminary step towards a return to training.
The league wrote to the clubs informing them of the decision as they continue to await a green light from Spain’s ministry of health. It had anticipated permission to be granted soon and hoped to begin testing on April 28 with a view to subsequently beginning a four-phase protocol for a return to training in the second week of May. However, the preliminary round of tests now appear to be delayed.
There has been criticism for plans that involved every player undergoing tests next week and thereafter daily antibody tests for an entire month upon the implementation of the LaLiga protocol to return to action. Some have questioned, and rightly so, how that could be justified at a time when front line medical staff themselves not been tested for Covid-19. The head of the supreme sports council (the CSD) who is the de facto minister for sport, Irene Lozano, had expressed a commitment to help complete the football season. A CSD statement insisted that sport has an important social and economic role to play. Nothwithstanding the notion that the public morale would be boosted by having football games to watch on television (or streaming), the decision remains in the hands of the ministry of health, which has yet to give its go-ahead.
The protocol remains in place, ready to be activated, and the league told clubs that it hoped the delay would be “as short as possible.”