La Liga postponed indefinitely as coronavirus crisis worsens

The Spanish soccer calendar has been postponed until further notice, La Liga and the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said in a joint statement on Monday.

All
organised soccer in Spain had been postponed for two weeks due to the
spread of the coronavirus but was initially due to resume on April 3.

The statement said a joint commission between the two bodies had agreed to postpone all professional soccer competitions until the Spanish government considered they could start again “without creating any health risk”.

RFEF chief Luis
Rubiales last week ruled out cancelling the current season, insisting
the campaign would resume once the health crisis was under control.

“Both the RFEF and LaLiga wish to express our greatest public gratitude to all those who are dedicating their best efforts to provide essential services to the Spanish people,” added the statement.

Life in lockdown for Europe’s footballers

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is learning to play the piano, La Liga clubs are facing off on playstation and Atalanta’s Robin Gosens has been revising for exams in psychology.

Yet
as thousands of footballers, from the highest levels to the lower
leagues, remain on lockdown while coronavirus spreads across Europe, all
of them are tasked with keeping themselves fit, as well as entertained.

“Everyone needs to be ready so that when the health advice says resume, we can resume straight away,” Emmanuel Orhant, medical director of the French Football Federation (FFF), told AFP.

Nobody knows when that will be and with the global death toll from coronavirus passing 13 000 on Saturday, there is little appetite yet even to address the question.

But within football, the absence of a deadline only
enhances the sense of urgency. In theory, the season could restart in a
matter of weeks and clubs are determined to be ready.

Premier League eyes June return – report

The English Premier League is tentatively targeting a resumption on June 1 with a view to completing the season over six weeks before making an August start to the 2020-21 campaign, the Sunday Telegraph reported on Sunday.

The report said the
sketchy plan was a “best-case scenario” aimed at mitigating the heavy
losses clubs are sustaining as they continue to pay wages while football
remains shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 13, all elite level soccer matches in England, including the Premier League, were suspended until April 4 with that stoppage subsequently extended until April 30.

The postponement of the Euro 2020
championship for a year, however, has cleared space in the calendar for
domestic competitions to finish if the public health situation allows.

Player
contracts, some of which end in June, could be an issue although world
governing body Fifa has said it is looking into possible
‘dispensations’.