La Liga President Hopeful Fans Can Return to Stadiums in January

La Liga president Javier Tebas has revealed that he hopes fans can be welcomed back into stadiums in Spain’s top flight as early as January.

The league has been operating behind closed doors since the first coronavirus lockdown ended and football resumed back in the summer.

Speaking to Spanish outlet El Chiringuito, Tebas initially revealed that fans would be allowed back into stadiums ‘in 2021’, before going as far as to say it could be possible next month.

Javier TebasJavier Tebas
Tebas says he ‘hopes’ fans can return soon | Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

“Yes, we will have fans (in 2021). We’ll start with a few and then we’ll see,” Tebas said. “For January, we hope.”

La Liga will first need the go-ahead from the Spanish government before an exact date can be decided upon and announced.

Spain’s secretary of state for sport, Irene Lozano, said on Tuesday (as quoted by SuperSport): “I have never stopped thinking about the return of the public. The supporters are important for football and football is important for the supporters.

“I am hopeful that with the vaccine on the horizon, we can have fans (in the stadiums), or at least partially, before the end of the season.”

In England, supporters will be able to return to stadia from Wednesday under the UK government’s new stricter tier system following a second national lockdown.

Areas that have been designated as Tier 2 can welcome back a maximum of 2,000 supporters, which means the London, Merseyside and south coast Premier League sides will have fans in the stands for home games going forward, for the time being at least.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier LeagueChelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
2,000 fans will be allowed into London stadiums from Wednesday | Pool/Getty Images

With Greater Manchester being placed in Tier 3, Manchester United and Manchester City supporters will be unable to return to Old Trafford and the Etihad respectively. Leicester has also been placed in the highest tier, meaning the King Power will remain crowd-free.

It remains to be seen how many fans will initially be allowed to return to grounds in Spain should the plans be given the green light.