FOOTBALL

Las Palmas says fans can attend home game against Girona on 13 June

Las Palmas president Miguel Ángel Ramírez wants the game to be played with the public, despite LaLiga and the Health Ministry stating games must be played behind closed doors.

Coronavirus: Las Palmas president says fans could attend match with Girona on June 13

Las Palmas president Miguel Ángel Ramírez believes their Week 32 meeting with Girona on 13 June could be the first football match in Europe attended by fans since the coronavirus pandemic struck. Ramírez argues that the minimal infection rate for Covid-19 in the Canary Islands could make it safe for fans to watch the game at Estadio Gran Canaria.

The islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa have received official clearance to move to Phase 3 of Spain's lockdown de-escalation plan, and it is reported the larger islands that make up the chain – including Gran Canaria – could move out of Phase 2 next week.

Ramírez believes such easing in social distancing measures will make it possible for fans to attend Las Palmas' first match since the 2019-20 Second Division season was put on hold in March. LaLiga and Spain's Health Ministry however have ordered all football matches to be played behind closed doors and they will decide when it is safe for the public to return.

"We will comply with all of the measures that that authorities ask of us and we can announce that Las Palmas fans will be able to attend the stadium to cheer on their team from 13 June against Girona," Ramírez told UDRádio. "I have just been speaking to Ángel Víctor Torres (president of the Canary Islands government) and Antonio Morales (Cabildo presidente), and due to our circumstances, we could be the only club in the top two divisions to play again with fans in the stands."

Ramírez explained that in Phase 3 of lockdown easing (which the island is due to enter from next week), access to venues up to 30% of their capacity will be allowed. In Las Palmas' case, that would mean around 10,000 fans would be be able to attend a game. At the moment though, LaLiga has not made any comment regarding Las Palmas' announcement.

Spain was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe by the pandemic, but strict lockdown measures and a staggered release of those restrictions across autonomous regions has helped to keep infection and death rates under control in recent weeks. Some regions, including Madrid and Barcelona, are still in Phase 1 of lockdown unwinding and residents are unable to travel to other regions. 

LaLiga is due to resume with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on 13 June