Protocols for football’s comeback
MIAMI, Fla. — (13 May 2020) When the game returns and La Liga attempts to complete this season’s championships, a number of new rules made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to be introduced.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, in approximately one month, football will be underway again, in the top two divisions in Spain. Both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga Smartbank will return at the same time.
Already, we have seen videos of the players engaged in individualised training this week, arriving at practice already changed and wearing masks during warmups.
Rules changes to expect
A number of new rules are expected to be in place when La Liga restarts, and LaLiga president Javier Tebas has already expressed his support of the moves.
Tebas said matches will be played daily for over a month in order to complete the season. “I don’t know when football will return,” Tebas was quoted saying on El Partidazo on Movistar. “I don’t know if the most probable date is June 19, I would like it to be June 12. It will depend on spikes and contagions. “There would be league games daily for 35 days,” he added.
He also revealed that players will be tested for the virus prior to every game and all necessary protocols will be followed with respect to the safety of the footballers. “24 hours before the game the players will be tested,” Tebas said.
“Donde menos riesgo hay es en los partidos. Lo que pido es cumplir las normas sanitarias para llegar al comienzo con los menores infectados posibles. Vamos a estar muy encima en el control de los jugadores. En sus casas les pido que sigan cumpliendo con el protocolo”.Javier Tebas
“The lowest risk will be during games, I ask that health regulations are followed to get to the start with as few infected as possible. “We’re very on top of the control of players, at home I ask that they keep following the protocol.”
Five substitutes will likely be permitted and matchday squads will have 23 players in them.
Twenty-three man squads
LaLiga Santander and LaLiga Smartbank sides can have 23 players in their matchday squads, up from the normal 18, while the promotion playoffs in Segunda B (3rd division), Tercera (fourth division) as well as the women’s game (LaLiga Iberdrola) can name 20 players in their squads.
Video Assisted Review
Although FIFA will allow for VAR to be done away with, LaLiga intends to keep using it and changes will be made to the VAR facilities to protect the officials.
LaLiga wants to be the body in charge of dissemination of medicaland health information around possible positive cases.
LaLiga will be responsible for providing images of training sessions for a number of clubs during the period; additionally, the league has asked its clubs not to disclose any medical information from training in order to avoid rumours of cases spreading.
Measures in place
Strict mandatory procedures are to be followed for match days.
The temperature of everyone entering the stadium will be checked, hotels will be used exclusively by players and only certain flights can be taken.
Teams travelling by bus will use two buses, with away players tested before traveling and home players tested 24 hours before kick off.
All players will have to change their kits at half time, spitting will result in the issuance of a yellow card and press conferences will be done remotely.
In the nonprofessional divisions, playoff systems might be used to decide league tables and promotion/relegations, while youth football’s season has been terminated.
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