La Liga clubs to block gambling-related shirt sponsors for beginning of season restart

La Liga Shirt Sponsors

All La Liga clubs with a gambling-related shirt sponsor will have to block them until Spain’s COVID-19 State of Emergency Bill ends on 21st June. 

Eight teams in the country’s top footballing division currently have betting sponsors. The current emergency laws will last for the first three matchdays of the restarted 2019/2020 campaign. 

The clubs have the choice to either block gambling sponsors on their shirts, or remove them altogether. 

Article 37 of Royal Decree 11/20 states that almost gambling ads on television are banned, except for a four-hour window. 

Replacement sponsorship deals unlikely 

The eight La Liga sides with gambling operators sponsoring their shirts are Valencia, Alavés, Leganés, Granada, Mallorca, Sevilla, Osasuna and Levante

Considering the financial implications, it’s unlikely that replacement sponsors will be chosen in the meantime for each side. 

Spain’s emergency laws were announced on 31st March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which swept through the country. Much of the worst is now behind them, however, and a lot of the draconian lockdown measures have been lifted.

La Liga will restart tomorrow (11th June) with a feisty Seville derby between cross-city rivals Sevilla and Real Betis. 

As reported by Spanish sports website MARCA, the division hopes to open stadiums at one-third of their capacity by the end of this month. 

Protecting society’s most vulnerable

Spain had already announced that it would be cracking down on gambling advertising in the country over the long-term. 

Rules introduced in February had prohibited related ads from featuring on broadcast outlets – with the exception of a window between 1am and 5am each night. But they had, in addition to this, been allowed on broadcasts after 8pm. 

Spain emerging from lockdown 

The Southern European country was one of the worst-hit by the pandemic, alongside neighbouring Italy and France. But with infections and deaths decreasing, the lockdown has gradually been eased. 

On Sunday, just 49 people were diagnosed with COVID-19.