Spanish soccer league delays Covid-19 tests for players
“If we consider that we will have the protocol in the next few days, maybe next week – well, from April 28 to May 11, 12, 13 or 14 – to start training again, that’s a lot of days for the players” to wait until after the tests, “La Liga president Javier Tebas said Friday at a press conference.
All football in Spain has been postponed indefinitely following the introduction of the state of emergency in Spain on March 14.
Some Spanish media have reported that the La Liga had hoped to start testing players for Covid-19 as early as next week, initially to resume training.
But the Liga’s announcement to delay testing comes hours after the Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) said it had sent two more letters to the government “again expressing concern” among the players of the first and second teams. second division concerning Covid-19 tests and resumption of training.
The association said players believe these decisions should be made by the government rather than the league, and added that the players “consider that there are other groups that need more testing at this time.” , as well as access to health care supplies. ”
Jordi Figueras, a defender for Racing Santander in the Spanish second division, told CNN that the decision was the right one.
Racing Santander issued a statement last Thursday stating that their priority was to finish the 2020/21 season, but that tests should be available for frontline health workers before players.
While admitting that football is important and that players want to resume training, Figueras believes that “football is not the first priority”.
“The priority is the well-being and health in the world and in particular the health of health workers, police, supermarket staff – those who work every day to provide us with food – pharmacists, drivers, those who risk their lives to save ours, they are the ones who should be tested first, “said the 32 – year – old.
“Without knowing when the training will resume exactly, there is no point in getting tested quickly.”
Spain’s state of emergency is set to end on May 9, after almost two months. But government officials have said the reopening of the country will be a gradual, step-by-step process, as they try to avoid the second wave of infections.
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday at a national television news conference: “I want to emphasize the sense of responsibility of many sports professionals, who have indicated that PCR (virus screening tests) ) must be performed according to medical criteria and in the order established by the health authorities. ”
The hardest-hit regions of Spain were the region surrounding the capital, Madrid, and the region around Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city.