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Coronavirus: La Liga players can train individually from May 4 but no date for Spanish football return

Lionel Messi's winner moved Barcelona top of La Liga
Image: La Liga players, including Lionel Messi, are free to begin individual training from May 4

Professional sportspeople in Spain have been given the go-ahead to return to training from May 4 as part of the country's plan to get out of lockdown.

The allowance of individual training sessions is part of Phase 0 - the Preparatory Phase - of the schedule announced on Tuesday by the country's president Pedro Sanchez.

Spain has been one of the nations hardest hit by coronavirus deaths and the news of a possible return to sporting action came on the same day any such return was ruled out completely by neighbours France, where there will be no football played until September at the earliest.

Training sessions at club centres will be allowed in Phase 1, which gets underway on May 11, although there will remain added measures in place to avoid a second peak of the virus.

La Liga has already sent clubs a detailed set of protocols to follow once training is allowed, including a preparation phase followed by individual practices, smaller group sessions and finally full squad sessions.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 05: Javier Tebas President of La Liga talks during Day 1 of Soccerex Europe Convention at Tagus Park on September 5, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Image: Javier Tebas supports a controlled return to football in Spain

Before Sanchez's evening announcement, La Liga president Javier Tebas had thrown his support behind a controlled return to action.

Tebas said in a statement: "I do not understand why there would more danger in playing football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures, than working on an assembly line, being on a fishing boat on the high seas.

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"If important economic sectors cannot restart, in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. That could happen to professional football.

"In other countries teams are already training, that's the example to follow.

"In Spain, football is an important economic driver that we need to reactivate like many others. We continue to focus on this reactivation, in a responsible manner and adhering to health recommendations, as soon as possible."

Project Restart: What's the state of play across Europe?

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin walks past a sign with the UEFA logo after attending a press conference following a meeting of the executive committee at the UEFA headquarters, in Nyon, Switzerland on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: All European leagues have been given until May 25 by UEFA to provide plans to restart their season

England - Premier League

The Premier League will hold further talks this week, as it targets a return behind closed doors in June.

Scotland - Premiership

The SPFL board is due to meet on Monday afternoon for the first time since April 10, when all 42 SPFL clubs voted on proposals to conclude the season below the top division.

France - Ligue 1

The Ligue 1 and 2 seasons will not resume after French Prime Minister Eduoard Philippe declared an end to all sporting events in France until September.

Italy - Serie A

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced professional sports teams can resume training on May 18 with Serie A potentially resuming in June.

Germany - Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is ready to return on May 9 if the German government gives it the green light, league officials have confirmed.

Netherlands - Eredivisie

The Dutch Eredivisie season has been ended with immediate effect, meaning league leaders Ajax have been denied the title. There will also be no promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight, following an agreement reached over a video conference call between the Dutch FA (KNVB) and clubs.

Find out the full story across Europe here

FIFA medical chief: Football should wait until September

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FIFA Medical Committee chairman Dr Michel D’Hooghe says health must be the priority when decisions are made about the resumption of football

FIFA Medical Committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe believes football should not return until September 1 at the earliest.

The Bundesliga in Germany could be back in early May while 'Project Restart' is hoped could see Premier League games resume behind closed doors in June.

But speaking to Sky Sports News, D'Hooge said: "Football can only be possible if contact is possible again. Football remains a contact sport and avoiding contact is one of the first things everyone says is that you should avoid contact."

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