As the world tries to stem the spread of covid-19, questions abound as to if and when sports will return. In the world of soccer, some leagues have made the decision - or had the decision made for them - not to continue the season. Belgium and the Netherlands have both canceled the rest of the season. The Jupiler Pro League decided to use the current positions of the table as the final one, awarding the title to Simon Mingolet’s Club Brugge. In the Netherlands, there will be no promotion or relegation, and no champion will be named.
Around the rest of Europe, no final decisions have been made for the rest of the major leagues. Most are making plans to resume the season in order to get that sweet, sweet TV money. Liverpool fans in particular are waiting with baited breathe to see if and when Jurgen Klopp and his marvelous Reds will be crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.
In positive news for Liverpool fans, the Daily Guardian is reporting that La Liga has now produced detailed plans on how to safely resume training using a multi-tiered approach over the course of a month before games would begin.
The first step will be to allow players to come back for individual training for two weeks. The players would be given a series of tests over the course of the two weeks to clear them to train with other players.
The second step will be small group training. Players would drive to practice wearing their training kit, and leave practice with their kit for the next day in a biodegradable bag. There would be no use of the dressing rooms. Only six players would be allowed to train at any given time, with additional controls for the gym and eating areas.
The final step will be to resume full team training. The players would be isolated in hotels, with not physical contact with their families. Multiple dressing rooms will be set up, with no more than eight players per dressing room. Each dressing room would be disinfected between use.
With detailed plans beginning to emerge, it will only be a matter of time before the Premier League proposes their own plans. The proposals from La Liga were vetted by doctors associated with teams from the top three tiers of the Spanish pyramid, and seems to be based on sound medical and scientific thinking. Many of these protocols will likely be adopted by leagues around Europe if the decision is made to resume competitions.