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Costa Rican soccer teams return to training

Costa Rica’s professional soccer teams resumed training Friday under rigid sanitary measures after a break of more than a month due to restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Players from large and popular teams, such as Saprissa and Alajuelense, as well as smaller teams such as Santos and Guadalupe, reunited to practice after a month of doing individual physical training at home.

“Teamwork and trust have been two fundamental elements in the process of developing these protocols, which are highly rigorous to prevent the spread of the virus in football,” said Sports Minister Hernán Solano about preventive measures.

In the case of Alajuelense, the players premiered this Friday a newly built building with a gym, locker rooms, dining room and administrative area, in its High Performance Center.

The club’s sports director, Agustín Lleida, explained that the players were divided into three groups of seven and each group trained at different times, while the goalkeepers did practiced separately.

Under the rules defined Thursday by the soccer leadership and the health authorities, players must report to training at least 30 minutes before the training session for a brief interview and physical examination with the medical team.

Each team, with a maximum of 28 players, must divide into smaller groups for training and cannot mix players between groups.

In addition, fitness machines must be at least two meters apart from each other, with at the athlete responsible for sanitizing them after each use.

Costa Rica has no plans to restart its soccer tournament, which was suspended in March, although league leaders hope to resume competitions sometime in May.

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