MADRID (Reuters) – Gerard Pique has said he is not confident that the 2020 Davis Cup will take place due to Spain’s restrictions on spectators attending events because of the coronavirus pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – La Liga Santander – Real Madrid v Barcelona – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – March 1, 2020 Barcelona’s Gerard Pique reacts REUTERS/Juan Medina
The Barcelona defender’s investment group Kosmos paid three billion euros in 2018 to acquire the rights to the sport’s flagship team event, transforming it into a week-long competition akin to a tennis World Cup.
The 2019 Davis Cup in Madrid, won by Spain, was the first to be held in one city and the competition is also scheduled to take place in the Spanish capital in November.
“I’m a bit pessimistic, to have the Davis Cup without fans is difficult,” Pique told Spanish television network Movistar on Sunday.
“There is a lot of uncertainty. We are listening to what the sport’s ministry and the government are telling us about whether we’ll be able to have fans in the stadium.
“There are different opinions and no-one is sure if we’ll be able to have fans or if it’ll have to be behind closed doors.”
Pique added that Spain’s strict lockdown has made it harder to make preparations for the event, although he said his team were continuing to work on making it happen if the government eventually decides to allow spectators at sporting events.
“I think in the next few weeks we’ll have more clarity but right now we’re trying to be prepared,” he added.
“People are working from home and obviously we can’t go to Madrid to look at facilities, we are prepared in case we end up being able to organise it.”
Pique has been unable to play football since March due to the pandemic but he returned to individual training with Barca last week and La Liga president Javier Tebas hopes matches, without spectators, will resume on June 12.
Pique, however, would like more time in order to return to full fitness.
“That’s only one month, without warm-up games, and although I’m sure La Liga is thinking in the best interests of the competition and doesn’t expect there to be injuries, I think a few more days to prepare wouldn’t be bad,” he added.
Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond