The Monitoring Committee, which met on Thursday in the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas with members of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and La Liga, confirmed the postponement of the next two rounds of matches in the top two tiers of Spanish football as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
This update came just two days after La Liga announced that games in Spain’s top two divisions would be played behind closed doors, limiting those allowed inside stadiums to 100 people (playing, medical and coaching staff, La Liga officials, anti-doping control officers, pitch maintenance staff and ball boys). However, with the speed of new cases increasing nationwide, the decision has been taken to call off matches altogether - as had been the decision taken on Wednesday for all non-professional divisions (from Segunda B downwards).
Real Madrid in quarantine
The decision was also taken after it was revealed that the Real Madrid squad was placed into quarantine on Thursday after a player from the side’s basketball team tested positive for the virus.
“The recommendation has been made to quarantine both the basketball first team and the football first team, given that the two squads share facilities in Ciudad Real Madrid,“ a Real statement said.
Real were due to play Manchester City in Manchester in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“In view of the circumstances known this morning, referring to the quarantine established by Real Madrid and the possible positive diagnoses in players from other clubs, La Liga considers that the circumstances already exist for the next phase of the protocol of action against COVID-19. Consequently, in accordance with the measures established in Royal Decree 664/1997 of 12 May, it agrees to suspend at least the next two matchdays,” the La Liga statement read.
Local teams affected
These measures will mean that new dates will need to be fixed for Malaga’s fixtures in the 32nd and 33rd match days: against Huesca (originally scheduled for this Saturday at 4pm at La Rosaleda) and their trip to Tenerife (originally on Saturday 21 March).
Likewise, Marbella’s games against Granada B (home, 15 March)and Villarrubia (away, 22 March) will need to be rescheduled.
On an amateur level, all local football clubs in Andalucía have been told to postpone matches and close their pitches for training during the same two-week period.
With many areas of Spain imposing bans on gatherings of more than a thousand people, football is not the only sport affected.
The professional basketball league in Spain has been suspended, with Malaga’s team, Unicaja, also ruled out of action in the EuroLeague which has postponed all of its matches. Unicaja had been due to face a team from Venice.
The upcoming Malaga Half Marathon is another casualty of the coronavirus. Originally set to take place on Sunday 22 March, organisers are looking to reschedule for November.