La Liga now suspended indefinitely due to virus

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La Liga, following a meeting with the Royal Spanish Football Federation, has announced the indefinite suspension of professional football in Spain because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The league said in a statement on Monday that it would not resume until the Spanish government says it is safe to do so.

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Spain’s top-flight was initially postponed for two game weeks on March 12, with previous plans to play matches behind closed doors scrapped as the coronavirus crisis in the country worsened.

Things have not improved since then, with Spain struggling to deal with the spread of the virus. The latest figures made available on Monday revealed that there are approaching 30,000 cases in the country and nearly 2,000 confirmed deaths.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced over the weekend that the country would remain under strict lockdown measures until at least April 11, making it impossible for football to resume in the near future.

La Liga president Javier Tebas has floated the middle of May as a potential start date, but league sources told ESPN they don’t want to name any dates until the situation in Spain improves.

Several La Liga clubs have been affected by coronavirus. Valencia — who played in Milan in February, one of the cities at the centre of Italy’s outbreak — said that 35% of the first team players and staff had contracted the disease.

Elsewhere, Alaves have confirmed 15 cases among players and staff, while Barcelona-based Espanyol have said there are six cases at the club (four players, including Chinese international Wu Lei, and two members of staff).

Real Madrid players were placed in isolation earlier this month, too, when a basketball player at the club tested positive. The club’s former president, Lorenzo Sanz, died from coronavirus over the weekend.

With all football stopped for the foreseeable future, including European competitions, Spanish clubs are worried about how the pandemic will affect their finances.

Even Barcelona, one of the league’s biggest clubs, fear there could be huge repercussions. The Catalan club are even considering asking players to take a temporary wage cut, sources told ESPN last week.

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