La Liga has drafted plans for the return of fans in stadiums, with protocols which mandate the wearing of masks, staggered entrances and eliminate the sale of food and drink in venues.
Spain’s top two divisions resumed play earlier this month following the pandemic-enforced hiatus, but as is the case in England, Germany and around the world, fixtures are being fulfilled behind closed doors, with only essential personnel and a limited number of media present.
Spain was initially one of the worst-hit European countries by the coronavirus, with a confirmed death toll now at 246,000. However, the government’s ‘state of alarm’ has now been lifted with the majority of the country entering which is being termed the ‘new normality’. The number of confirmed new cases per day currently sits around 300-350, significantly lower than in the UK.
With citizens now able to return to shops, bars, restaurants, beaches and other public spaces, there is now a growing interest in the re-opening of football stadiums.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has been vocal in his eagerness for fans to be allowed to return as soon as is safe, while a report at the weekend claimed that Barcelona are pushing for an at least partially open Camp Nou in time for the visit of Atletico Madrid on 1 July.
Now, Cadena SER have published a leaked La Liga document which shows draft protocol for the return of supporters to stadiums on matchdays.
The document outlines that no-one with a temperature of over 37.5c will be allowed to enter the ground, with security carrying out checks at the first ‘security ring’.
There will also be specific time-slots in which sets of supporters will be granted admittance, in order to avoid over-crowding at the gates, while masks must be worn at all times.
Interestingly, there will be ‘no trade’ within the stadium, meaning fans will not be able to buy food and drink (though they will be given complimentary water) or even wander the concourse at their leisure. It is said that fans must remain in their allocated seat for the entirety of the game.
How celebrations, fan interaction and bathroom usage will be regulated exactly is not made clear.
It is also noted that fans must register prior to the game, while ID must match that on the pre-purchased ticket.
The document makes no reference to a timeframe of when La Liga expect approval from the government to be able to implement the new rules, or what capacity of stadiums they wish to make available for spectators initially.
In the previous report about Barcelona’s desire for fans to return for the Atletico game, the notion of 30% capacity was mooted, while there are eight gameweeks left in the top flight.
Average capacity for a La Liga fixture in 2018/19 was around 27,000. Reigning champions Barcelona have the highest average attendance, at over 75,000, while Eibar is the lowest at under 5,000.