SPAIN’S La Liga chief has revealed a local derby clash as the likely first fixture after football resumes in the country next month.
Last Saturday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that La Liga could begin to finish off the remainder of their suspended fixture list from as soon as June 8.
Now league president Javier Tebas has said he hopes that a derby between Real Betis and Sevilla will launch the return of soccer action on June 11, after what would have been a three month enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Champions Barcelona lead the Primera division table by two points over nearest challengers Real Madrid, with 11 matches remaining.
Speaking to the Movistar TV channel, Tebas said: “There is a possibility that there is a game on June 11, which would be the only match that night and perhaps there will be a tribute to all the people who have died from the coronavirus.”
“I hope that date can be confirmed and we would want that fixture to be the Sevilla derby, with a 10.00pm kick-off,” he added.
The resumption of La Liga will follow the practice in Germany of playing matches behind closed doors, and will also provide a much needed boost to the sport’s coffers, as millions of euros of TV rights money would have been withheld had the outstanding fixtures not been played.
As it is, Spanish clubs will still take a massive financial hit, with many of them fearful about their futures.
All non-professional leagues and lower divisions of Spain’s football pyramid structure have already been scrapped in terms of the 2019/2020 season.
Players in La Liga’s top two divisions have resumed training in groups of up to 10 players.
Tebas said the next objective was to progress to full training.
“Right now that’s our main goal, and if we can achieve that then we can start to bring forward the return of the competition. Our aim is to be able to announce the first four rounds of fixtures in the next few days,” he added.
“The government’s announcement took us by surprise but it shows that professional football is very important to this country.”