Football fans in Spain unlikely to return to stadiums in September, says country's health minister

Spain’s health minister has expressed doubt about the prospect of spectators returning to football matches in September due to the threat of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

Reuters July 16, 2020 17:56:28 IST
Football fans in Spain unlikely to return to stadiums in September, says country's health minister

Madrid: Spain’s health minister has expressed doubt about the prospect of spectators returning to football matches in September due to the threat of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

The government’s department for sport and organising body LaLiga had hoped to let fans back into stadiums at a reduced capacity when the new season starts in September, increasing to 50 percent in November before full capacity returned in January.

Yet a spike in infections since Spain lifted a national state of emergency in June has led some regions to impose localised lockdowns and limit activities, threatening the return to normality.

“To be honest, I don’t see it, given the reality we are in,” health minister Santiago Illa told radio station Cadena Ser on Thursday.

“We have seen some clusters of infections and although we have fortunately been able to control them, I still don’t see (fans returning).

“We’re going to take our time and provide information so the sports department can make the decision when necessary. We have to step carefully with the virus, and concentrating large numbers of people at this time is not advisable at all.”

Illa also criticised large-scale celebrations in Vitoria to mark Baskonia winning the basketball championship and after Cadiz won promotion, urging Real Madrid fans to show restraint if they win the LaLiga title on Thursday.

“I understand what it means to win a title or win promotion but the situation we have in Spain is of a controlled epidemic but with a virus that is still circulating,” he added.

“In the last few days we’ve seen images that put people’s health at risk. We are advising people to celebrate sporting triumphs at home and in no circumstances to go out to the streets and concentrate in large numbers.”

Updated Date:

also read

Champions League: N'Golo Kante out of Chelsea's tie against Juventus with coronavirus
Sports

Champions League: N'Golo Kante out of Chelsea's tie against Juventus with coronavirus

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted he does not know how many of his squad have been vaccinated but revealed he has received the jab himself. He said players must retain personal choice over COVID-19 vaccines.

LaLiga: Under-fire Ronald Koeman refuses to answer questions in Barcelona presser
Sports

LaLiga: Under-fire Ronald Koeman refuses to answer questions in Barcelona presser

Koeman's position is fragile, after Barca followed up a 3-0 defeat by Bayern in the Champions League last week with a 1-1 draw at home to Granada in LaLiga, with the team's tactics and style coming under scrutiny.

Serie A: Juventus report losses of $250 million for 2020-21 financial year due to effects of COVID-19 pandemic
Sports

Serie A: Juventus report losses of $250 million for 2020-21 financial year due to effects of COVID-19 pandemic

Revenue from player registration rights (transfer market) dropped 129 million euros (more than $150 million) from 2019-20, while ticket sales fell more than 41 million euros ($48 million) from the year before.