SPAIN’S La Liga is facing a revolt from some of its players over the coronavirus threat.
Footballers from Eibar have issued a statement expressing their serious reservations about the resumption of training and actually playing matches, whilst the Covid-19 pandemic is still causing problems.
Last week, La Liga, reached a deal with the government over players being allowed to resume individual training at clubs this week and for coronavirus testing to take place as well.
The Health Ministry would then determine when it would be safe for group sessions to begin, ahead of any possibility of matches taking place behind closed doors.
A government minister last week said that he thought it “unlikely” that the remainder of La Liga’s suspended season would resume before the summer.
Matches were put on hold in mid-March as Spain introduced its State of Alarm measures.
Even though a phased programme of easing the lockdown has started, the squad from the Basque region team, Eibar, are not happy, and drew up a statement.
“We are worried about starting an activity in which we will not be able to follow a key measure recommended by experts, and that is social distancing.
“It worries us that by doing what we like most, we could get infected and infect our family and friends and even contribute to a new wave of the pandemic with the terrible consequences that would have for the whole population.
“The health of everyone should be the most important thing and now is the time to back this idea up with actions and not just words. We ask for guarantees and we demand responsibility,” the Eibar players said.
The views of the players echo comments made by the Spanish Footballers Union, who also said that priority over Covid-19 testing ought to go to essential workers and not their members.
They added that they also felt that “queue-jumping” over testing would reinforce the image of footballers being privileged and spoilt.
La Liga is desperate to get matches staged as soon as possible or else lose loads of money from domestic and international TV rights holders, who plan to keep back lucrative payments if there is no action.
Countries like France and the Netherlands have already scrapped their seasons.