Seville Derby Pencilled in as First Fixture for 11 June La Liga Return

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FBL-ESP-LIGA-BETIS-BARCELONA | CRISTINA QUICLER/Getty Images

La Liga president Javier Tebas has spoken of his optimism that Sevilla's derby against Real Betis will be the first match at the restart of La Liga's season.

Preparations to resume the season after it was put on hold are accelerating, with players beginning to train in groups of 14 from Monday, having already trained in groups of up to ten over the last week.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez gave La Liga the go-ahead to return from the week of 8 June, as Spain begins to plot a return to normal life after the impact of the coronavirus.

Lionel Messi
Barcelona Players Return To Training Following Coronavirus Lockdown | Handout/Getty Images

Tebas, speaking with Spanish TV network Movistar, revealed that scheduling for La Liga's return is already underway, and that the league's revised fixture list could use El Gran Derbi between Sevilla and Betis as its jumping-off point.

"There is a possibility that there is a game on 11 June, which would be the only match that night and perhaps there will be a tribute to all the people who have died [as a result of the coronavirus]," Tebas disclosed.

"I hope that date can be confirmed and we would like the game to be the Seville derby, kicking off at 10pm."

Lucas Ocampos
Club Atletico de Madrid v Sevilla FC - La Liga | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Tebas stressed, however, that La Liga clubs first need to succesfully return to regular training in order to progress to the eventual stage of the league's resumption.

"Right now that's [full training] our main goal, and if we can achieve that then we can start to bring forward the return of the competition. Our aim is to be able to announce the first four rounds of fixtures next week," he asserted.

"The government's announcement took us by surprise but it shows that professional football is very important to this country."