La Liga urge Spanish government to reconsider ‘discriminatory’ stance on return of fans

La Liga officials have called on the Spanish government not to make a blanket ruling on the return of fans this season and allow teams in low-risk areas to welcome supporters back soon.

The lingering threat of COVID-19 has kept stadiums across Europe closed all season, but there have been hopes that the dropping rate of transmission may allow a small number of fans to get back into stadiums before the season ends on May 23.

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga SantanderFC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Santander
Stadiums have been empty all season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

However, Spain’s health minister, Carolina Darias, recently insisted that some areas in the country have significantly more cases than others and it would not be advisable to allow fans back at all while some areas are still dealing with dangerous rates of transmission.

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The government is keen to block the return of fans, but La Liga said in a statement that they believe the decision is ‘discriminatory and inconsistent’, suggesting sports fans are being given different treatment from the rest.

“We request a return of crowds according to the health situation of each community, with the final decision resting with local authorities and respecting all appropriate measures, as has happened previously with various other sports and shows,” a statement read.

“The request for the return of fans to the stadiums have been unanimously approved by the Delegated Commission of La Liga, composed of 14 of the 42 clubs that make up La Liga, even taking into account that there may be some clubs that would not have a crowd if their local authorities rule as such. Clubs believe that this situation does not affect the integrity of the competition.

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“La Liga is going to try and have this decision reconsidered urgently, conveying an urgent meeting with the professional basketball league, the ACB, which is the other major sport harmed by this measure that we consider discriminatory and inconsistent.”

The statement comes just a few weeks after La Liga president Javier Tebas revealed he was hoping to see stadiums between 10-25% full before the end of the season.

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Javier TebasJavier Tebas
Tebas hopes the ruling will be changed | Wang He/Getty Images

“I think there will be between 10 and 25 percent capacity of stadiums in terms of fans by the end of this La Liga season,” Tebas said (via Marca).

“However, this depends on the Sports and Health government departments.”

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