La Liga unveils fixtures as restart looms

Barcelona will resume their La Liga title defence against Real Mallorca in two weeks.
Barcelona will resume their La Liga title defence against Real Mallorca in two weeks.

Barcelona will recommence their bid to defend the Spanish title on June 13 away to Real Mallorca after a three-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Real Madrid will host Eibar on June 14, organisers La Liga announced on Sunday.

As in the Bundesliga, which earlier in May became the first major European league to recommence after being disrupted by the pandemic, all La Liga matches until the end of the season will take place without spectators.

Barca were leading Real by two points after 27 matches when the campaign was postponed back in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The season kick backs into action with a local derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11 and there will be fixtures for the following seven days with Barca hosting Leganes on June 16 and Real playing at home to Valencia on June 18.

Organisers have only released scheduling details for the first two rounds of fixtures although La Liga chief Javier Tebas confirmed that there will be matches every day of the week until the season is completed on July 19.

Real Madrid will play their remaining six home games at the 6,000-capacity Estadio Alfredo di Stefano based at their training ground, a league source confirmed, as they are renovating the Santiago Bernabeu.

Levante will also be making adjustments to their Ciutat de Valencia stadium and confirmed last week they will play their final home games in the town of La Nucia, more than 150 kilometres away from their usual ground.

Tebas also gave details of a planned tribute to those who have died from coronavirus, whereby fans will be encouraged to make audio recordings of themselves applauding the victims which will then be transmitted in the stadium and broadcast on television in the 20th minute of each match.

"Fans make football so special and as they cannot be in the stadiums we have created this initiative so they can play a part in the return of the competition and show their support for the heroes of COVID-19," Tebas told television network Movistar.

The Spanish top flight is poised to be the second of Europe's top five leagues to resume after the Bundesliga, with England's Premier League restarting on June 17 and Italy's Serie A kicking off again on June 20.

Australian Associated Press