Real Madrid-Barcelona not under coronavirus threat - LaLiga chief
Javier Tebas said that LaLiga has a coronavirus protocol in place that may lead to games being played behind closed doors if the health authorities recommend it.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas has confirmed that Spanish football has put in place a coronavirus protocol in case the spread of Covid-19 affects Primera and Segunda games – inlcuding the possibility of playing behind closed doors – but stated that it will not affect this weekend’s Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Bernabéu.
“We haven’t considered the possibility of postponing the Clásico or any other games, but as of Sunday evening we have opened a coronavirus commission within LaLiga to monitor the situation and we have a plan in place for different cities regarding whether we can play behind closed doors or not. That situation has not yet arisen in Madrid and neither has the matter of postponing the Clásico,” Tebas told reporters on Friday.
LaLiga chief considering closed-door games
There were 31 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Spain as of Friday and Tebas explained that LaLiga has been in talks with UEFA about the issue after several games in Italy were suspended last weekend. “It’s one thing to postpone a game and another not to play it. We have been looking at the possibility of playing games behind closed doors and if that is not possible then we will postpone. If that case arises, we have dates prepared for when we can stage those games. We have presented this plan to UEFA so that they can also bear in mind European ties involving Spanish teams. We are working on precaution, not improvisation.”
The Spanish health authorities have not ruled out placing restrictions on public gatherings if the number of cases rises. As it stands, the alert level in Spain is currently 1 (out of 3) and there are no immediate plans to suspend public events. According to regional broadcaster Telemadrid: “Level 2 is assigned for more serious situations, it there is a case of person to person infection within the Madrid region or a massive influx of imported cases. Although there have been cases of coronavirus in Spain, we are currently remaining at level 1, although the Ministry of Health is considering more serious measures, such as prohibiting public gatherings.”
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