A forced parenthesis and an unknown in the air. The Spanish League, in the First and Second Division, follows, although with some delay, the trend observed in the different sports modalities to try to put a stop to the coronavirus and will stop for at least two weeks. The final conclusion, the one that was adopted yesterday, is the suspension of the next two days of the League. Oviedo will not play Ponferradina and Deportivo at Tartiere and Sporting will not visit Coruña and Alcorcón. Once the pause period has passed, a wide range of possibilities opens up. The federal organizations do not rule out, even, that the competition cannot be closed.
The decision was made at noon yesterday, after a meeting in which the League, the Federation and the Association of Spanish Soccer Players (AFE) participated. The turning point, the one that made the League change its initial position (it had announced earlier this week that the next two days would be held behind closed doors), was the announcement by Real Madrid of the positive for his player’s coronavirus. basketball Trey Thompkins. The football squad automatically entered the quarantine phase (it shared some stays in Valdebebas with the basketball squad) and agreed with UEFA and Manchester City to postpone their European duel next week. So, the decision was unanimous: stop the competition in First and Second.
The question that remains now is what will happen to the League. None of those involved dares to predict what may happen in the immediate future. There is only one date set, March 25, the day on which the situation will be evaluated again and decided whether to continue the measures, a prospect that seems quite likely. “When the time comes, we will see if the League can be ended or not,” said Luis Rubiales, president of the Federation, at the end of the meeting.
For the first time, the option of permanently suspending the League is being considered. It is just one of the possibilities among the “four levels” of situations ranging “from red to green”. Red contemplates the final suspension. “Now is not the time. We will appreciate it when it plays,” said Rubiales. “It is as important to work in all scenarios as not to be startled. We have to be calm, do our job well and on March 25, if decisions have to be made, they will be taken according to the difficulties.” This is not the time to specify. We have no elements to say what will happen in May. We are in mid-March, “he added. And he concluded:” If we are lucky and everything improves, we will make decisions so that the games are played. At the moment we are not considering playing in the summer. “
Neither the League nor the Federation made their plans public, nor did they reveal information about the four scenarios being considered. In any case, and as provided for in the coordination agreement signed by the League and the Federation, the final decision should be taken jointly by the two entities. The hypotheses are multiplied at this point.
The most optimistic is that the parties are relocated. Achieving a gap in the calendar does not seem easy in a course conditioned by the dispute of the Euro Cup from June 12. Everything would be facilitated if the continental competition is delayed: there is talk of playing it in June 2021, although the relevant meeting has not yet taken place. Postponing the Euro would give enough margin (the last of May, June and even July) to recover the days suspended as long as they are not too many.
If the situation continues, it is not ruled out that the season will be deserted. It is an option that has already been considered in other leagues such as the Premier. There would be no champions; neither ascents and descents. Oviedo and Sporting would start 2020/21 from scratch in Segunda.
Another way is to end the competition. Leave things as they are now, with Barça as the First Champion. Cádiz and Zaragoza, ascending. Oviedo, maintaining the category. The difficulty lies in concluding a championship without all its clashes being disputed.
There are, in turn, alternative solutions. In Italy there has been talk of playing a play-off for the title and another for relegation in the different categories. Another possibility is to consider only the results obtained in the first round by the teams, a way of trying to square the numbers and make it fairer. Oviedo and Sporting would maintain the category if this format is followed.