MADRID, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Football teams in Spain's top two divisions are returning to training in the coming days to try to finish a season that was halted on March 9 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sevilla, Villarreal, Leganes and Osasuna were the first four teams back in action on Friday.
Players underwent coronavirus tests at the installations of their respective clubs during the week after training facilities had been thoroughly disinfected, such as at Real Sociedad's Zubieta complex.
Once shown to be free of the virus, players are then able to start training individually, progressing into groups of six and then eight as the lockdown in Spain is slowly eased through four separate stages.
However, the government's plan to ease the lockdown will see some regions progress faster than others, with Catalonia and probably Madrid a step behind some other parts of Spain, meaning players at teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Espanyol and Atletico Madrid will not be able to train in groups as soon as other teams whose regions progress faster.
The plan of the Spanish Football League is to play this season's 11 remaining rounds of matches without supporters in the stadiums.
Spanish media reports suggest the competition will restart on June 20 and that clubs will play two games a week with a view to finishing on July 26.
Given that playing two matches a week at the height of summer will present a physical challenge to players who have been unable to train or kick a ball in anger for two months, La Liga has proposed allowing each side to use five substitutes, rather than the usual three, in order to lower the risk of injuries, while many clubs will keep players at their training grounds for the remainder of the season to limit the risk of infection from elsewhere.