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La Liga games to take place behind closed doors if Spanish football returns amid coronavirus outbreak

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Senior figures at UEFA, La Liga and the RFEF have continued discussions but no specific return date is being targeted at this stage

La Liga matches will be played behind closed doors if a solution can be found to get Spanish football back underway.

As things stand, there is still no date set for any such return, but senior figures at La Liga and the Spanish FA (RFEF) acknowledge that a gradual return to normality would have to be enacted.

Sources close to the situation indicated to AllinFootball that fans would continue to be banned from stadiums to prevent another sharp outbreak of coronavirus in Spain as a result of such large crowds gathering.

In Spain, Valencia’s away game against Atalanta in the Champions League has been labelled as a ‘biological bomb’ which served to accelerate the outbreak of Covid-19 and overwhelm local health services in both areas.

Once the outbreak has been contained to an acceptable degree, football is expected to return, but authorities and clubs will be extremely cautious as to the wider effect of hosting events.

There is some optimism from UEFA that, in a best-case scenario, some continental competitions could be resumed in June.

On Wednesday, UEFA announced a number of further suspensions of fixtures, including the postponement of all international fixtures scheduled for June and the outright cancellation of some youth international tournaments set to take place over the summer.

However, AS reports it is unlikely that stadiums will be allowed to open again until autumn at the very earliest.

There is a strong desire from UEFA to complete the round of 16 in both the Champions League and Europa League, but these matches will certainly be played behind closed doors if they do take place.

A number of European games have already been played without fans, including Valencia’s second leg against Atalanta in Spain, and Paris Saint-Germain’s comeback at home to Borussia Dortmund.

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However, a large group of fans gathered outside PSG’s Parc des Princes for the game regardless while Liverpool’s game against Atletico Madrid, played at the same time, happened in a packed-out Anfield.

Madrid had already emerged as an epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Spain, and the decision to go ahead with fans travelling from the Spanish capital to Merseyside has been widely criticised.

Jurgen Klopp told Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti that he felt the decision was “a criminal act”, a view with which the Italian agreed. 

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