Position statement of the Royal Spanish Football Federation for the resumption of football activities after the COVID-19 pandemic

On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19, an infection produced by the virus SARS-CoV-2 with a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness, as a pandemic.1 The health authorities and governments of several countries declared confinement measures to decelerate the propagation of the disease, which resulted in sport training and competition being suspended. Professional athletes have been unable to train as usual during home confinement, and it is thought that they will have to return to sports competition in most countries once the risk of infection has been adequately reduced. On 20 March 2020, the Royal Spanish Football Federation created a task force, composed of sport physicians, sport scientists, and strength and conditioning coaches to constitute guidelines in order to resume football activities after the COVID-19 pandemic. This task force established a framework based on scientific evidence to reduce health risks on the return to competition while fostering players` fitness levels from the resumption of training activities for the teams prior to the first official competition. The framework encompasses guidelines at three levels: (1) clinical measures to assess player`s health status after the confinement and procedures to reduce the probability of COVID-19 infection during training and competition, (2) training recommendations to develop strategies for injury prevention and physiological readaptation, and (3) proposal for the competition calendar and allowance of changes of in-game regulations. The aim of this editorial is to make these recommendations public since they may contribute to guideline development by other sporting bodies that are also managing players` return to training and competition.
© Copyright 2020 British Journal of Sports Medicine. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd of the BMA. All rights reserved.

Subjects: planning training planning health soccer Spain recovery disease sports medicine training
Notations: biological and medical sciences training science sport games
Tagging: Coronavirus #coronathletics
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102640
Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
Published: 2020
Volume: 54
Issue: Published online: 16 Jun 2020
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced