The new reality of the League to bring optimism and discomfort – television channels

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Liga president Javier Tebas said that the return of Spanish football will allow people to feel a sense of normalcy again, but it can also serve as a reminder of a new uncomfortable reality.

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Spain's top division is expected to restart on June 11 and be completed on July 19, but players are expected to undergo the security protocol for several months and the stadiums will not be full until next year.

In the short term, at least, its resurgence could offer some comfort. "There is no doubt that the resumption of football will contribute to a general feeling of relief among certain groups of people struggling with the pandemic," David Soccoso, a specialist in sport sociology, told AFP.

"The return of football is a sign that society is progressing to a new normal," agreed Tebas earlier this month, adding that "it will restore a part of the life that people in Spain know and love".

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Spain has managed to control the number of infections in recent weeks, with the government reporting no deaths from coronavirus on Monday for the first time since early March.

But with more than 27,000 confirmed fatalities, the country was one of the hardest hit in the world and it is not surprising that the approach to the return of football was cautious and the attitude of some fearful.

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"It is possible that, by losing the passion and intensity, which is really the essence of football, also lose that emotional center that is the hook for so many people," said psychologist Adelaida Navaridas.

Many say that without fans, the campaign should not be resumed.

"We understand that we cannot go to the stadium because of the risk of infection," said Joseba Combarro, president of Eskozia La Brava, Eibar's most important fan club, whose team members expressed reservations about playing too early.

“But the players share the same risk as the fans, the risk is for everyone. The alloy must be suspended.

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– "Social heart" –

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It is not just the atmosphere inside the stadiums that will be missed.

“The social heart of football comes from people who prepare for the game with friends, with family and then stay together afterwards. All of that is broken, ”adds Guillermo Fouce, professor of psychology at the Complutense University of Madrid.

“But between having it back to 100% or nothing, it helps us to adapt. I think it's still better to get closer to what was normal before. "

The League is also eager to point out the economic benefits to people's jobs and livelihoods.

"The return of football means the recovery of a very relevant economic sector," said Tebas.

"It contributes 1.37% of GDP and generates 185,000 jobs at a time when the economic situation is already the main concern".

"It is the export industry for primary services in our country," adds Moscoso. "Its economic role is evident."

Television companies like Movistar, Spain's largest gaming broadcaster, are also promoting the idea that football's renaissance is advancing.

Every Sunday night this month, Movistar promotes a program called “Volver Es Ganar”, “Voltar é Ganhar”, a slogan that was also broadcast by players and clubs.

First, the game is coming back because of its own financial needs, with Thebes admitting that the clubs would lose about 1 billion euros ($ 1.1 billion) if the season were canceled.

The fans will have football again, but for a while, at least, in a very different way than before.

"We may have to consider that our new normal will be different," said Fouce. "That nothing will be exactly the same as before."

AFP

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