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Soccer: La Liga plans to return on June 11

Lionel Messi (R) and FC Barcelona returned to training on May 8 and will likely resume their La Liga schedule in mid-June. Photo by Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE
Lionel Messi (R) and FC Barcelona returned to training on May 8 and will likely resume their La Liga schedule in mid-June. Photo by Enric Fontcuberta/EPA-EFE

May 25 (UPI) -- La Liga president Javier Tebas said he hopes the Spanish soccer league can return June 11 after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The La Liga season was suspended indefinitely in March. Up to 10 players were allowed to return to training as of May 18. Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday that La Liga was free to return after June 8.

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"[The La Liga return] will be the weekend of June 12 for sure, or even Thursday, June 11," Tebas told Movistar. "It isn't decided yet, we have to hold the relevant meetings with the federation and the National Sports Council to discuss some outstanding issues.

"We have to see what happens with the phases so that full training with all players can take place as soon as possible. We have to be cautious. We'll look at that first, and we're working with broadcasters, too."

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The first match of the La Liga return will be between Sevilla and Real Betis. Tebas said that match could be played in Seville, Spain. He said the league will announce the first four matchdays once the match becomes official.

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FC Barcelona sits in first place in the La Liga standings, two points ahead of rival club Real Madrid. Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Getafe also sit in the top 5 of the standings.

The German Bundesliga is the lone league of Europe's five major soccer leagues to return from coronavirus suspension. The Premier League and Serie A will also likely return in mid-June. The Ligue 1 season was canceled in April.

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