Spanish soccer leagues begin despite pandemic

Federations debate whether starting leagues was right choice

Spanish soccer player dribbling a ball
Amateur soccer is beginning in Spain despite a lack of testing. 

As teams get ready for the upcoming 2020-21 season, local Spanish soccer federations debate whether starting the leagues was the right choice.

After a continual increase of COVID-19 cases, Spanish soccer federations are deciding to postpone the beginning of all their leagues due to the high risk of infection. According to the World Health Organization, Spain averages about 25 new cases per 100,000 people daily.

Although not receiving any COVID testing before the start, players like Manolo España, a midfielder for Racing Algemesí C.F., try to remain positive.

“Sincerely, I’m not worried only about COVID in soccer, since there are a lot of jobs where their employees haven’t done any COVID testing and either university students. At the end of the day, we need to address this issue day by day,” España said.

Having players on the pitch with COVID won’t come as a surprise given the current situation that Spain is living through at the moment.

“As of now I am grateful to say I haven’t shared the pitch with anyone who has or has had COVID, but I know that at any given point of the season I will,” España said.

Local doctor Daniel Puertos believes that, even though it is practically impossible for a small town’s team to cover every single player’s COVID test, soccer can be played relatively safe given the current pandemic.

“Since soccer is a sport of high contact we know that some safety measures are not going to be met, so to prevent more cases, we need to adhere as much as possible to the safety and social distance guidelines,” Puertos said.

If a player were to test positive, that team would automatically have to forfeit two games or even be disqualified, since they could jeopardize the safety and health of other teams.

Although there is no right answer when it comes to allowing sports leagues to start, “we definitely can’t force players to play with face masks, so until we find a mildly effective or 100 per-cent effective vaccine we are going to have to live with it,” Puertos said.

As of now, most local soccer federations remain doubtful of the decision of starting the league, and most federations are expected to follow Madrid’s federation steps.

Enrique Domingo is a soccer player in Spain and has been part of a team since the pre-season. As of now, he has not heard of any player or club that has received any sort of testing for COVID-19.

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Posted: Sep 23 2020 3:14 pm
Filed under: News Sports