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The Spanish Lockdown...

Guillem Balague has been talking about what the lockdown means for football in Spain.

Soccerex Global Convention - Day 2
Spanish football expert has been explaining on the BBC what the Spanish Lockdown looks like.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Soccerex

Apart from some National League games and some matches from sub-tier leagues in England today, it’s hard to find a match on anywhere. It’s a totally surreal feeling. A winter Saturday in Northern Ireland, rain outside and not a match to go to... Never thought I’d ever see the day...

Across the continent, the effect of coronavirus on normal life and football in Spain is probably only felt more tellingly in Italy, currently Europe’s worst-affected country.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has been speaking from northern Catalunya to the BBC on the virus’ effect on football...

“The only types of stores open in Madrid and Barcelona are those selling food, pharmacies, newspaper kiosks and estancos [which sell stamps and tobacco]. Everything else is shut down. No bars nor restaurants open.

“There have been videos issued with Luis Enrique and his national coaching staff urging people to adhere to Spanish government policy, stay home, stay indoors so not to spread the virus.

“Barcelona and Real Madrid have cancelled training for the the last two days. Players are tasked with following training regimes at home. Everything will be reassessed during the first weekend of April, but it looks like there will be no competitive football for many months.”

The smart money here in Europe is that leagues will be given precedence to complete over the European Championships, since final league positions are crucial in shaping the following season, 2020/21. So expect the Euros to be postponed for one year to 2021, and also the Women’s Euros, scheduled for England in 2021, where word on the street is the women’s finals will be held over to 2022.

UEFA club competitions are at risk also. It’s uncertain whether these will be completed in 2020.

A meeting of UEFA’s powers on Tuesday should add some clarification, although it’s highly unlikely at this point a clear picture will emerge.