Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has warned LaLiga that clubs will need at least five weeks’ notice to prepare for a return to action following the suspension caused by the coronavirus outbreak. LaLiga has been on hiatus since early March due to Covid-19, which has been contracted by more people in Spain – almost 230,000 – than any other country in Europe.
The league’s indefinite suspension was announced on March 23, but with signs of improvement in Spain, attention is now being focused on the potential return of football. Sevilla are currently third on the LaLiga table, and Lopetegui is convinced clubs should be allowed a minimum of five weeks to get back in shape.
“The circumstances and guarantees have to be in place and then we have to have a certain amount of time,” Lopetegui told Sport.
“The end of the season is going to be an experiment because we do not know what’s going to happen. We have to be calm and wait, giving importance to public health. What I can assure is this will be nothing like a return after a summer break. Neither the form nor the mind is going to be 20 per cent of what it would be in a normal pre-season.
“Don’t forget that in LaLiga and the Segunda, everyone imagines big houses, but that’s not the majority. We are all humans, with concerns, there have been cases [of the virus] in teams. All that’s going on is not removed from any profession and it affects the players.
“We will have to speak about preparation time but, as a manager, I see we will need a minimum of five weeks to be in a situation where we can play every three days in a setting that no one has experienced before, not just playing behind closed doors, but after everything this nightmare has provoked. We have to be in the best physical condition.”