La Liga clubs have been given the go-ahead to return to training next Monday by the Spanish government as lockdown restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic are eased.
Prime minister Pedro Sanchez announced at a press conference on Tuesday that players will be allowed to train individually from Monday.
“Individual training for professional and federation sportsmen and women and basic training for professional leagues will be permitted from May 4,” he said.
Sanchez also announced a four-phase de-escalation plan aimed at returning to a “new normality.” Each phase is due to last two weeks.
Phase 0: basic training for professional athletes
Phase 1: medium training and opening of high-performance centres
Phase 2: authorisation of outdoor activities with less than 400 attendees
Phase 3: return to the ‘new standard’, with no specific references to sport
The news means there is optimism in Spain that the 2019-20 will be completed, although there is still no confirmation yet it can resume.
Sanchez’s statement follows confirmation from France on Tuesday that the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons have been cancelled.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced no sporting events would be held in the country until September.
The decision has been criticised by La Liga president Javier Tebas:
“I do not understand why there would more danger in playing football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures, than working on an assembly line, being on a fishing boat on the high seas, etc,” he said.
“If important economic sectors cannot restart, in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. That could happen to professional football.
“In other countries, teams are already training, that’s the example to follow.
“In Spain, football is an important economic driver that we need to reactivate like many others. We continue to focus on this reactivation, in a responsible manner and adhering to health recommendations, as soon as possible.”
However, Fifa’s chief doctor Michel d’Hooghe has also warned against restarting the 2019-20 season in an interview with BBC Sport.
He has advised trying to “avoid playing competitive football in the coming weeks” and has told clubs to “try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season.”