BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spain’s La Liga soccer clubs should not be using coronavirus tests on healthy players when there could be other people in the country who need them, Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said on Tuesday.
Various teams have tested players for the virus, including Valencia, who said on Monday that 35 percent of their first-team squad and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus but were asymptomatic.
There have been at least 491 coronavirus fatalities in Spain and over 11,000 people have been infected, according to government statistics on Tuesday, with the country in partial lockdown.
Elderly people and those with other health conditions are considered high-risk.
“Knowing the lives of many people are at stake it seems out of place to me to use tests on footballers when there are people that need them,” Rubiales told a news conference.
“The result for the player is the same, if they are positive and don’t have severe symptoms they will be confined at home. Testing players seems unsupportive and absolutely anti-patriotic in these conditions.”
Rubiales reiterated La Liga’s message that the season should be finished normally, even if it is played up to and even beyond June 30, after UEFA pushed the Euro 2020 Championship back a year.
“The competitions must be finished, before June 30 if possible, but this date doesn’t have to be a wall, the objective is that all competitions finish in the fairest way,” Rubiales added.
“There may be phases behind closed doors. Finishing the league with the table as it is now is an injustice. For next season we will talk about a format if it is affected by the delaying of the current campaign.”
The Spanish FA president said the Copa del Rey final could take place next season if necessary. It currently does not have a date after it was postponed from April 18.
“There’s no date for the Copa del Rey final. We’re looking at May 30 but we can’t seal anything. We want a final with fans, it would only be behind closed doors for legal reasons,” he said.
“We aren’t ruling out the Copa final not being played this season. The presidents of Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad will have a voice and vote on the decision.”
(Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Toby Davis)
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