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Position statement of the Royal Spanish Football Federation for the resumption of football activities after the COVID-19 pandemic (June 2020)
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  1. Helena Herrero-Gonzalez1,
  2. Rafael Martín-Acero2,
  3. Juan Del Coso3,
  4. Carlos Lalín-Novoa4,
  5. Rafel Pol5,
  6. Pilar Martín-Escudero6,
  7. Ana Isabel De la Torre7,
  8. Christopher Hughes4,
  9. Magni Mohr8,9,
  10. Francisco Biosca10,
  11. Rafael Ramos7
  1. 1 Medical Department, Real Federacion Española de Futbol, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2 Faculty of Sport Science and Physical Education, University of A Coruña, Oleiros, A Coruña, Spain
  3. 3 Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, Fuenlabrada, Spain
  4. 4 First Team Performance, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, London, UK
  5. 5 Complex Systems in Sport Research Group, Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC), University of Lleida, Lleida, Catalunya, Spain
  6. 6 Faculty of Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  7. 7 Board of Directors, Spanish Association of Football Teams Physicians, Madrid, Spain
  8. 8 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  9. 9 Centre of Health Science, Faculty of Health, University of the Faroe Islands, Torshavn, Faroe Islands
  10. 10 Medical Services, Chelsea FC, London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Juan Del Coso, Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, Fuenlabrada 28943, Madrid, Spain; juan.delcoso{at}urjc.es

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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.

Task force to develop guidelines

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 …

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