MADRID, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Although there is still no official confirmation, the 2020-2021 season of La Liga is expected to kick off on September 12th. However, a wave of positive coronavirus test results from the Spanish football clubs raises doubts over how feasible that date is.
As Spanish football returns to work to prepare for the new season, all of the players in the first and second divisions have had to take PCR tests to discover whether or not they are infected by the coronavirus and so far the results don't inspire optimism.
Ten clubs from the Primera Liga and four from the second division (Liga SmartBank) have returned positive test results, with six players at Athletic Club Bilbao, three at Alaves, two at Huesca, Celta Vigo, Valencia and Atletico Madrid and one each at Betis, Granada and FC Barcelona all testing positive, along with Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate.
Meanwhile, positives for coronavirus have been reported at second-tier outfits, Espanyol, Mallorca, Las Palmas and Malaga, with these tests coming after 12 cases of COVID-19 among the Fuenlabrada squad saw their match corresponding to the end of last season away to Deportivo la Coruna postponed for over a fortnight, and meaning that the play-offs for promotion to La Liga by over two weeks have only just begun.
The only good news is that all of the affected players (and Arrasate) are reported to be asymptomatic and all are isolating in their respective homes waiting for further tests that will hopefully allow them to return to work alongside their teammates.
However, the worrying increase in the number of new coronavirus infections in Spain, with 2,935 new cases reported on Thursday, means the country is seeing infection rates not witnessed since April and that despite all the protocols and precautions it is very possible that more players are going to be infected.