FC Barcelona have announced that their players will undergo tests for Covid-19 upon their return to the club’s training facility on Wednesday.
The Spanish ministry of health has given teams permission to return to their training grounds for the first time since La Liga was put on hold in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Players will be allowed to train individually at first, but only after they have been tested for coronavirus. Barcelona confirmed that their players will begin arriving at their facility on Wednesday as La Liga eyes a potential return to the field in June.
“The football first team will be back at the Ciutat Esportiva on Wednesday for the relevant medical tests ahead of starting training individually in the coming days,” a club statement read. “La Liga has given the go ahead for the tests to be carried out after the club facilities are inspected on Tuesday. On Wednesday the medicals will be carried out to guarantee the players’ health.”
The return to training is part of the first step in a four-phase process for the Spanish top flight to eventually resume play behind closed doors.
“This crisis has had a profound impact on all of us. The return of football is a sign that society is progressing towards the new normal. It will also bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love,” said Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga.
“People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart La Liga. Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 2019-20 season this summer.”
The president of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has also lent his support to football’s return in a country that has seen more than 25,000 deaths nationwide.
“We hope that football will soon be back, La Liga and the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation will decide that, but they already have our permission to begin individual training in team sports,” Sanchez explained in Saturday’s press conference.
Prior to the suspension of play in March, Barcelona had established a two-point advantage over Real Madrid at the top of the table with 11 rounds of matches remaining in the league campaign.