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LaLiga Santander targets mid-May return if COVID-19 pandemic slows down

The wild LaLiga Santander title race between Barcelona and Real Madrid could finally have its climax.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--LaLiga Santander president Javier Tebas said that the league is now working toward resuming its play after a lengthy stoppage caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Given the current situation we believe we can restart the competitions in mid-May, perhaps during the third week. If circumstances permit, we could bring that forward," Tebas said, later clarifying that he is also looking for other dates for resumption of play.

Action was stalled in European club sport play following the confirmation that a player of Barcelona's basketball team was tested positive for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

With Barcelona's basketball and football teams sharing the same training facility, both squads were put under quarantine, effectively leading to the postponement of ACB Liga Endesa and LaLiga Santander.

However, the pandemic reached a Spanish football club as Valencia's Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquim Mangala were confirmed to have contacted COVID-19.

Done by June?

LaLiga Santander is working with two other organizations, the Premier League and the European Club Association, an alliance of 109 top flight clubs from across the continent including nine Premier League and nine LaLiga Santander squads, in resuming all the club leagues that are currently stalled.

"We’re working with Europe’s leading leagues to put together an emergency schedule to complete the competitions," Tebas added.

He then further said, "It's feasible to finish competitions by June 30."

However, with that said, it may mean that the club leagues will have to play a compressed schedule if they are targeting to only return by May.

"We are working with leagues such as Serie A in Italy, who have 14 games still to play, or the Danish league, who have 15 left to play," Tebas continued.

LaLiga Santander still has 11 matchdays left before calling it a season with arch rivals Barca and Real Madrid going neck to neck for the league championship before the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the cellar, Valladolid, Eibar, Celta Vigo, Mallorca, Leganes, and Espanyol are looking to keep their places in Division 1 in a tight race to escape relegation.

"We have to work in reverse, as it were, looking at the latest date we could start playing to work out other options," Tebas added.

Still no fans allowed possibly

Also, he said that he may be looking at a possibility of holding closed-door matches like how some matches elsewhere took place before the leagues decided to postpone play.

“Whether matches are played behind closed doors will depend on the health authorities. If they tell us to play behind closed doors, we’ll play behind closed doors, but that will be decided then,” Tebas continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_