Coronavirus pandemic: LaLiga suspends all matches for two weeks over COVID-19 threat
The league’s statement said the decision came after Real Madrid put its squad into quarantine, and that it had notified the clubs, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and the national sports ministry of the postponements.
Madrid: All soccer matches in Spain’s top two divisions have been postponed for two weeks over fears of the spread of the coronavirus, the league’s organising body said in a statement on Thursday.
All organised soccer below the top two divisions has already been postponed.
The next two rounds of matches in the top two leagues were due to take place without spectators on the advice of the national health ministry.
The league’s statement said the decision to postpone the matches came after Real Madrid put its squad into quarantine after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive for the virus on Thursday.
“Given the circumstances that are coming to light this morning, referring to the quarantine established in Real Madrid and the possible cases in players from other clubs, La Liga considers it appropriate to continue to the next phase of the protocol of action against COVID-19,” said LaLiga.
“In accordance with the measures established in Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, it agrees to postpone at least the next two match days.
“Said decision will be reevaluated after the completion of the quarantines decreed in the affected clubs and other possible situations that may arise.”
The Spanish soccer federation had already announced on Wednesday that it had postponed the Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, originally set for April 18, in order to guarantee the match could be played with spectators.
The derby had been surrounded by controversy after Vinicius' dances during recent goal celebrations were criticised by a guest in a popular sports talk show who used racist language.
Barcelona moved to the top of the league standings at one point above Real Madrid before the defending champion plays a derby at Atlético Madrid on Sunday.
The Spanish side have been under great economic stress in recent years but gained financial leverage this summer with a string of operations which allowed them to strengthen the team.