The Latest: Some Spanish soccer clubs resume training

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:


Spanish soccer teams have resumed individual training after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal and other clubs have returned to action after the Spanish government loosened some of the lockdown restrictions that had been in place since mid-March.

Atlético Madrid is set to resume its activities on Saturday and Real Madrid’s players will be back on the field on Monday.

Barcelona’s players were practicing at different parts of the team’s training camp to avoid contact with each other. Coach Quique Setién was wearing gloves and a mask as he watched from afar as players ran their drills. Players had their regular training uniforms but no masks or gloves while on the field.

Lionel Messi was seen juggling the ball by himself at one point.

All players, coaches and club employees were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to practice. The league has not yet released results but some local media reports said three yet-to-be-named players tested positive. The information has not been independently confirmed.


Soccer teams will be allowed to use two extra substitutes per match to protect players during a backlog of games caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Football Association Board says competition organizers can now approve teams making five changes with a sixth in extra time.

IFAB says the temporary rule is available to “competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31.”

Leagues which typically end in May face a congested program into July and August to complete their season.

A further IFAB decision is needed to extend the rule into next season’s competitions and national team games in 2021.


Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to keep playing if tennis bodies make coronavirus shots obligatory once they become available.

Nadal tells Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia this week that Djokovic and all players will have to follow the rules when tennis eventually returns to action.

Nadal says no one can be forced to take the vaccine and everyone should be free to make their choices but all players will have to comply if tennis officials require “vaccination to travel” and to “protect” everyone on the tour.

Djokovic recently said he was against taking a vaccine for the coronavirus even if it became mandatory to travel. He later said he was open to changing his mind.

Nadal says “Djokovic will have to be vaccinated if he wants to keep playing tennis at the top level.”

He says that “if the ATP or the International Tennis Federation obligates us to take the vaccine to play tennis then we will have to do it.”


Inter Milan players can resume training at the club’s Suning Center after everyone from the first team tested negative for the coronavirus.

Inter had to delay the resumption of training earlier in the week because not everyone on the team had been tested for COVID-19.

The club says all tests have now come back negative and that “optional individual training sessions will begin this afternoon.”

AC Milan has also reopened its training center for its players.

Most of the other Italian league clubs had already resumed training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.


Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has complained about being “harassed” and says his family has been “torn apart” after admitting to breaking social-distancing rules again during the coronavirus pandemic.

British newspaper The Sun reports that Walker breached regulations three times in a 24-hour period this week by visiting family members and going on a cycle ride with a friend.

The England international apologized last month for hosting a party at his home during the lockdown.

Walker posted a long statement on Twitter saying he feels he is being followed constantly while also raising mental health concerns.

Walker writes “this is no longer solely affecting me but affecting the health of my family and my young children too.”


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