Premier League concerns resurface after first La Liga match as neutral stadiums could be back on agenda
The Premier League was watching on with interest, as La Liga became the second major European league to restart on Thursday night.
The Bundesliga having kicked off in May, with both Serie A and the Premier League set to follow next week.
Ligue 1 the big exception, the only major league brought to a close prematurely very early on, the French government forcing the move.
One big issue in England has been the subject of using neutral stadiums, with various figures in policing, government and the football authorities expressing concerns that large numbers of fans could turn up outside grounds for certain fixtures, if the usual home and away stadiums were used.
Those fears looked to have been pretty much wiped out after the Bundesliga experience, the past month seeing things go very smoothly with no major concerns at any of the matches played. The league campaign is indeed only a couple of weeks away from finishing now in Germany.
As things stand in the Premier League, there are no matches so far that are definitely going to be moved to neutral stadiums.
Even the scouse derby has been provisionally given the go ahead, Everton set to meet Liverpool at Goodison on Sunday 21 June at 7pm.
However, Thursday night has brought back the concerns to the surface.
La Liga kicked off with a derby match, Sevilla and Real Betis two clubs that are only two miles apart.
Usually a big emotional derby for fans, there were of course no supporters allowed inside.
However, as Sevilla won the derby 2-0, it happened to a backdrop of large crowds having gathered outside the stadium.
No reported trouble between rival supporters but the sight of large groups of fans ignoring guidance to stay away, will be a big talking point now for the Premier League.
Everybody will now be looking to see if this was a one-off, or whether this will be a regular sight outside La Liga stadiums as matches continue this weekend.
No reports yet of Sevilla or anybody else now being forced to play at neutral stadiums but if these scenes were repeated once the Premier League kicks off, you would assume the authorities will act swiftly.
Here’s hoping we don’t see this repeated at the upcoming La Liga and especially so when football kicks off in England again.
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