Competition news

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

11 Mar 2020
Depor will have to play the next two games behind closed doors. The Spanish government is starting take measures against the COVID-19. The players and Depor want to postpone the next two matchdays.

The COVID-19 is already hitting Spanish football. By Tuesday, the Spanish government has recognized that there are 1,200 infected patients and 31 deaths. That same day the Spanish Council for Sports declared that all sporting events must be played without public for the next two weeks.

This means that Deportivo will have to play matchday 31 and matchday 32 behind closed doors, this Saturday the Galicians are hosting Sporting Gijón, and one week later they will visit Real Oviedo. It’s a hard hit for the fans as the close distance between Asturias and Galicia was promising to have a good attendance of the visiting fans. Just for Saturday, at least 30,000 persons were expected at the Riazor.

And logically, it’s a measure that the fans haven’t liked. The Riazor Blues released a statement in which they were asking to suspend the competition, first for health reasons and later because football shouldn’t be played without fans, “As fans we are worried to see that now it’s considered normal to play a game without fans. The health is more important than football, but the fans are more important than business. We refuse to be assumed as a simple factor without a voice or rights.” The statement said.

Goalkeeper Dani Giménez shared the thought, this after talking to the media before the training session, “I don’t see playing without public. We don’t know if one month will be enough. If there are two games that are home and away, it may be fair, but if next week there are more infections or deaths, then the game against Oviedo will not be played and we will be the ones affected. People are not going to stay at home to watch football, they will go to the bar, or with the peñas. Stopping the competition would be more logical and, selfishly, because of our situation and way of playing, we would be better with the public at the stands when we are playing at home.”

Claudio Beauvue used his Twitter account to share the same feeling, “Without fans this sport has no sense. They are more important, or at least the same, than the players. Or we are all together or nothing. Because without a full stand football losses its essence.”

The Players Union gathered all these concerns and released a statement asking to delay the tournament. Hours after the Spanish Federation confirmed that the games will be played without public, the Union released a statement asking to suspend all the games in all the leagues. The players are concern about their health and the one of the club's employees.

Meanwhile, president Fernando Vidal was saying that the club will fulfil the measures dictated by the league authorities, “This is a total paralysis, in all facets, socially and in all levels. I don’t know how long this will be. We are worried as things are evolving. This is terrible, I don’t concede sports without fans, and to make things worse, it coincides with two very important games in which a lot of people was moving, both from Gijón to Coruña and from Coruña to Oviedo. We will have to assume it with responsibility.”

But later in the day, the club released a statement asking not to play the next two matchdays. The reason is that Deportivo understand that the socios have the right to attend to the home matches, and therefore are requesting to postpone the games with Sporting Gijón and Real Oviedo. At the same time, the club announced that starting on Monday it will refund the public that paid tickets for the Sporting’s match.

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