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Barcelona's Camp Nou lies empty, but La Liga hopes limited crowds can be allowed to attend matches before the delayed season finishes © AFP/File LLUIS GENE


La Liga hopes to welcome fans back to football in Spain under strict guidelines

MADRID, Spain, Jun 22 – The return of fans to stadiums in Spain will be subject to strict limitations, with supporters having to register in advance, take turns at attending games and have their temperature taken on arrival, according to guidelines issued to clubs by La Liga.

The document, seen by AFP, outlines the need for fans to register with their contact details if they wish to attend matches as Spanish football tries to find a way to bring back crowds in limited numbers following the coronavirus shutdown.

All games have been played behind closed doors since the season resumed earlier this month.

Clubs will then be allowed to choose which supporters are allowed in. On matchdays, spectators will have to arrive at the stadium in pre-allocated time slots but will be turned away if their temperature reading is over 37.5 degrees Celsius.

Inside grounds, fans will have to wear masks, maintain social distancing and exit one row at a time at the end of the match. Meanwhile, catering facilities will remain closed but fans will be given two bottles of water on their way in.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has on several occasions expressed hope that a limited number of fans could be allowed back into games before the delayed Spanish season ends on July 19. However, the final decision rests with the government.

“In 10 or 15 days we will have an agreement with the government about bringing fans back to stadiums. Obviously it won’t be the whole stadium, and if we could fill 10 percent or 15 percent of stadiums for the end of the season in some grounds then we would be very happy,” Tebas said on June 11.

The final decision on the matter lies in the hands of Spain’s National Sports Council (CSD), which must first consult with the country’s Health Ministry and different autonomous governments.

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Spain has been among Europe’s hardest-hit nations in the pandemic, suffering more than 28,000 COVID-19 related deaths and registering nearly 300,000 cases.

However, on Sunday it lifted a slew of restrictions in place since a strict lockdown was imposed in March, including opening its land border with France and welcoming EU nationals without enforcing quarantine periods.

Nevertheless, Spaniards still have to wear masks in enclosed spaces and maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres (five feet), while access to public spaces like beaches and restaurants remains limited.

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