The players and coaching staff of La Liga club Eibar have admitted they are fearful of football’s return because they believe they could catch the virus while playing and pass it on to their loved ones.
In a statement issued by them on Tuesday the squad and technical staff said: ‘We are afraid to start an activity in which we will not be able to meet the first recommendation of all the experts which is physical distancing.
‘We are concerned that, by doing what we love, we can catch the virus, infect our family and friends, and contribute to a new outbreak of the epidemic, with the terrible consequences that this would entail for the entire population
Eibar’s players and staff have said they are fearful of returning to football amid Covid-19
Players are set to be tested in the coming days and begin training alone before stepping up activity in small groups.
The plan is that squads are training together by the end of the month with a view to playing the 11 rounds of matches left in La Liga behind closed doors from June 13.
Players throughout Spain have expressed concerns over the return to training and competitive action but this is the first time a squad statement has been issued.
It was not carried on the club’s official website and appears not to have the backing of Eibar’ owners and president. The team currently lie two points above the drop zone. The last game played in Spain before the league was postponed was Eibar’s home match with Real Sociedad behind closed doors.
The statement continued: ‘The priority must be the health of all, and it is time for that idea to prevail with facts, not only with words.
‘Only with that clear premise, it would make sense to return to competition. We ask for guarantees. We demand responsibility.’
Eibar players and staff say they recognise that others have returned to work in Spain this week as the country’s seven-week long lockdown has been eased.+2
Spain has been badly hit by coronavirus but squads will gradually return to action this week
‘It is true that millions of workers have returned to their tasks, with much less attention and much less health care than we receive,’ the statement said.
‘Many without minimum guarantees. It is not fair, and we know it. We are privileged. We are footballers but more importantly we are people and like most of society we are worried about the health situation.’
Last month Eibar midfielder Pape Diop voiced the concerns of the squad when he said: ‘I would not play again if there was a minimum risk of spreading the virus to my family.