Spanish football is making plans for supporters to return to stadiums but they should not celebrate just yet. In fact, fans will be discouraged from celebrating at all.
A 16-page draft protocol put together by La Liga, and seen by the Guardian, will enforce physical distancing in the stands, staggered arrival times and registration for those who want tickets. It also recommends supporters “avoid embracing and slapping hands”, which may prove difficult if there is a 90th-minute winner.
The document is incomplete and not expected to be applied before the beginning of next season on 12 September. It is being prepared on the understanding a fans’ return could be brought forward – not least because some clubs are beginning to prepare their own protocols to present to local health authorities and to push for a return in the short term, reports The Guardian.
According to the draft, fans will have to sign up in advance, provide ID and details of any health conditions. A club will then decide who gets tickets based on the numbers and the size of the stadium. There will be no away supporters. Season-ticket holders – expected to be the only supporters in the ground, depending on demand – will not get their normal seats; they will, though, be given seats of a comparable value.
No specific limits to the number or percentage of fans allowed in has been set but stadium capacities will be reduced significantly to maintain a distance of 1.5m between people. Three rows of seats behind the goals will be reserved for photographers and the seats behind the dugout will be occupied only by substitutes, coaches and medical staff.
Fans will be given one of up to five 15-minute slots during which they must arrive at the ground. Those slots start an hour and a half before the game, with the most vulnerable supporters among the last to arrive.
Every club will have to construct an outer rim around the stadium allowing for two check-points and supporters will be asked to remain in their seats. They will all have to wear masks and will be given two small bottles of water upon entry as there will be no food or drink on sale.