La Liga wants to resume games in June, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure that happens. The league has produced a 23-page document outlining the methods players would have to follow in order to get games underway in June, and it involves minimal to no contact with the outside world, according to the New York Times.
The plan relies on strict limitations to ensure players remain symptom free and do not spread the virus if they test positive. That includes daily testing for coronavirus, and a slow ramp up to starting games.
Here’s how it would work: A few days prior to training, everyone involved would be tested for coronavirus. That testing will continue throughout the month to ensure players remain virus free. Any positive test will result in that player, and the people he’s been in contact with, going into quarantine until they are not contagious.
While one positive test would be a setback, it wouldn’t necessarily impact the entire team. There will be restrictions on how many players can interact with each other at first, according to the New York Times.
In the first phase of the training program, they may encounter very few people. Players will be expected to arrive at the training ground at different intervals. They would be expected to be wearing protective gloves and masks until the moment they start to train. During this initial phase, only six players would be allowed on the practice field at any one time.
During the early phase, only two players will be allowed in the team’s gym at a time. All the equipment would be disinfected after use.
From there, group practices will increase to eight players, who will not have contact with any other members of the team. Eventually, the team would come together in a lodge with coaches and a limited staff.
Throughout all of this, players will be advised to not spend time with each other outside training. For those players who do go home, they’ll be advised to only leave their houses to drive to the training facility. La Liga’s plan is dependent on “clubs being able to apply it in a confined manner in a setting that is closed off from the outside world,” according the New York Times.
If all that works and La Liga games begin in June, fans will not be allowed to attend them.
Why is La Liga trying to come back in June?
Like seemingly every other major business, the league is concerned with money. Cancelling the season could cost La Liga over $1 billion, according to its president. Even if that valuation is high, La Liga wants to do whatever it can to minimize lost profits. If that includes trying to hold games in June, the league will try it.
Is La Liga making the right decision?
While La Liga is being extra cautious, there’s no way to know whether the plan will work. One positive test would — hypothetically — only impact one segment of players, but what happens if members of multiple groups test positive? How many positives would it take to shut a team down? At that point, is it feasible to move forward with games?
Any plan that involves bringing people together — no matter how slowly — is going to carry risks. How La Liga responds at the first sign of adversity will test how much the league values safety of profit.
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