- Initial ban on full squad training under four-phase protocol
- Players to live in isolation away from their families
There will be three stages to training – individual, small group and full team – and the first tests are pencilled in for next Tuesday. From the second stage, squads will be obliged to live together in isolation, away from their families.
The protocol calls for clubs to be given a month of training where possible, with two weeks of group and full-team sessions following two weeks of individual training. Some clubs are concerned about the plausibility of that plan and returning to competition without sufficient training. That process begins with a four-part protocol written by doctors from three first division clubs and reviewed by medical departments at a further four clubs across the top two divisions. The protocol was distributed to every La Liga side and discussions with medical staff began on Wednesday. It has been shared with other European leagues.
The preliminary stage (phase one) of the protocol for the resumption of training involves at least three tests being carried out on every player before a return to activity, beginning with polymerase chain reaction and serology tests. The league hopes to carry out a first round of tests on 28 April to gain a picture of where they are and establish which players have built up an immunity to the virus. The final test of the first phase must be conducted two days before a return to activity.
Once sessions begin, up to two weeks after that first test, players will be subjected to daily serology antibody tests which the league has acquired. Any player found to be positive will be isolated.
Phase two is individual training sessions to be carried out at the clubs’ training grounds in a controlled environment that has to be disinfected before sessions. “Clean area” notices will be placed at entry points, the number of staff allowed in will be limited and training times staggered to prevent players coinciding with each other. Strict rules are laid out for the preparation of food – only one cook will be allowed – for laundry staff and for security. Employees will be categorised as high or low protection, with footballers in the former group.
Players will arrive at training always in the same car and in kit, taking away the following day’s kit in a sealed, biodegradable bag. Dressing rooms are not to be used and there will be a maximum of six players on any pitchand no more than 12 on site. No more than two players will be allowed in the gym and no interaction with coaching staff will be allowed. Staff must wear gloves and face masks, as must players until on the pitch.