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HEALTH

Spain’s La Liga to hold minute silence for coronavirus victims

A minute of silence will be held before all La Liga games in memory of the victims of coronavirus, the league and Spanish football Federation (RFEF) announced on Sunday.

Spain's La Liga to hold minute silence for coronavirus victims
Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The tribute will also be paid before matches in Segunda, Spain's second tier, as well as play-offs for promotion in the Segunda B and Tercera divisions, the two governing bodies confirmed.

“Both organisations have reached an agreement to pay a sincere tribute this season to all those who have left us because of the pandemic, as well as their families,” said a joint-statement.

The first match back will be on Wednesday between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete, who will play the second half of their Segunda contest in December that was abandoned due to offensive chanting.

READ: What will Spain be like to live and work in after the coronavirus crisis?

 

Top-flight fixtures will then restart on Thursday, when Sevilla host Real Betis, with reigning champions Barcelona playing away at Real Mallorca on Saturday and Real Madrid hosting Eibar on Sunday.

Barca are top of the table, two points clear of Madrid, with 11 games left to play. 

The return will bring an end to a three-month hiatus after La Liga suspended matches due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12.

Spain has been able to bring the virus under control in recent weeks but is one of the worst-hit countries overall, with more than 27,000 deaths confirmed according to the latest figures on Sunday.

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SPORT

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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