Football in Spain has been given the green light to resume in June by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, with clubs and officials are now working on confirming an exact return date for La Liga.

Sanchez has announced the top two divisions in Spain can restart again from week commencing June 8, but widespread reports say the plan is for the first game in the top flight to be held on June 12 with the big derby between Sevilla and Real Betis lined up as the comeback match.

In a statement, Sanchez said: “From 8 June, La Liga will be back. Spanish football has a huge following but it will not be the only recreational activity that will return.”

Like the rest of Europe’s big leagues, La Liga has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic but players have been allowed to participate in small group training sessions since last week and preparations will now be stepped up ahead of the restart.

La Liga president Javier Tebas says a lot of hard work has been done so far in being able to get Spain (8/1 European Championships outright) close to a resumption but everyone must continue to still follow the strict health protocols to ensure the games will eventually take place

He said: “We are very pleased with the decision. It is the result of the great work of clubs, players, coaches, CSD (National Sports Council) and agents. But we cannot lower our guard, it is important to follow health regulations and ensure the pandemic doesn’t come back.”

All 20 La Liga teams have 11 games left to play this season, with leaders Barcelona two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top, while Sevilla are third, a point ahead of both Real Sociedad and Getafe in fourth and fifth.

Espanyol are bottom, three points adrift of 19th-placed Leganes, who are two points behind third-bottom Mallorca.

The news of La Liga’s return has prompted renewed calls from Lyon for the French government to reconsider their decision to ban all sporting events until September.

Lyon, Amiens and Toulouse all appealed against the decision to end the Ligue 1 season, early with Paris Saint-Germain handed the title but suffered a setback on Friday when a judge upheld the ruling.

Now Lyon, who missed out on European qualification, have reiterated their desire from French president Emmanuel Macron to review the suspension of sport, which was made on April 30.

In a statement, Lyon said: “Olympique Lyonnais hopes that the example of Spain, following that of Germany, will help authorities reconsider the decision taken too hastily in France.”

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