La Liga 2020-21 to begin from tomorrow
Published: 10:00 PM, 11 September 2020 Updated: 10:17 PM, 11 September 2020
La Liga begins on Saturday without its top teams and still without fans but with hope that an unusual summer could lead to a season of surprises.
Barca, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have been granted extra time off, meaning the top four from the last term will all be absent on the first weekend when only seven fixtures are taking place.
Yet more than the heavyweights, who will take to the field later this month, the league will miss the fans, whose absence might be felt even more keenly at the start of a new season than during the desperate attempt to finish the last one.
At Cadiz, who is back in the top flight after 14 years away, the stands at the Carranza would have been bouncing, reveling in a new beginning against Osasuna.
Instead, they will be empty, and there will also be silence at the league’s curtain-raiser at Ipurua, where Eibar are continuing their own miracle by embarking on their seventh consecutive year in the top flight, at home to Celta Vigo.
La Liga’s plan had been to stagger the return of supporters through the autumn, building up stadium capacities from, at first, 30 percent through to full grounds sometime in the new year.
But a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in Spain means those plans have been shelved, with the league awaiting better news from the government before taking any steps forward.
“I believe that to see stadiums like before it can only happen with a vaccine,” said La Liga president Javier Tebas on Monday. “I hope it can be in January or February. Several governments have already announced it and that would be the beginning of the end of this bad dream.”
While the pandemic may be beyond their control, La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation have hardly helped an already slow start by creating further chaos over fixtures.
Eibar v Celta Vigo (1400), Granada v Athletic Bilbao (1630), Cadiz v
Alaves v Real Betis (1200), Real Valladolid v Real Sociedad (1400),
Villarreal v Huesca (1630), Valencia v Levante (1900)