Soccer Is Back In Peru: The Keys To Returning In The Midst Of The Coronavirus Crisis

With coronavirus tests before each game the Peruvian soccer championship resumed on Friday without an audience. After five months, it concentrated in Lima, paralyzed by the pandemic, with a duel between Universitario and Cantolao.

All tournament matches will be played only in the capital to avoid contagion when the teams travel. Before each game, players and members of the coaching staff of each of the 20 teams in League 1 will be tested for coronavirus.

Covid-19 tests will also be carried out on the referees and all the personnel who work in the stadiums, where the traditional sellers of bread with chorizo, popcorn, soda, and coffee will no longer be. Each day’s matches will be played from Friday to Monday in seven stadiums in the Peruvian capital, without fans. They will be broadcast by two radios and a cable television channel.

Peru, the third country in Latin America in cases and deaths due to Covid-19 behind Brazil and Mexico, faces a re-outbreak of the pandemic after starting the deconfinement on July 1. With 33 million inhabitants, it registers more than 440,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 20,000 deaths.

Last weekend, three Sport Huancayo players tested positive for Covid-19 in tests carried out by the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) to return to the tournament.

The popular Alianza Lima club, now led by Chilean Mario Salas, will play this Sunday with DeportivoBinacional, the current champion. This week separated four players who did not comply with biosecurity protocols when they went out to lunch at a cevichería in Lima. After testing for Covid-19, nine Binational team members, including seven players, tested positive on Wednesday.

However, the match between Alianza and Binacional, clubs that also compete in the 2020 Copa Libertadores, will also be played, which was also suspended due to the pandemic in March resumed in September. The Copa Sudamericana will return in October.

Each team will be able to field up to five foreign players in each game, instead of four as before the pandemic. A recommendation invites players not to celebrate goals effusively.

The 20 first division teams began training a month ago with their full teams. Before, there were only practices with small groups. The Clausura tournament, which is due to start in November, will also be played only in Lima, but unlike the Apertura in which all teams face each other, it will be divided into two groups of 10 teams each.

Meanwhile, the coach of Peru, Argentine Ricardo Gareca, holds meetings with the other technical command members ahead of the start of the South American Qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar 2022, which should begin in October.

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