sports world

La Liga, Vuelta cycling race get under way in Spain with security in spotlight

Thousands of police officers and security personnel will be mobilised in and around Spanish stadiums.

While Spain mourns following the terror attacks in Catalonia, security will be in the spotlight as two global sporting events get under way this weekend in La Liga and the Vuelta cycling race.

After a three-month summer break, La Liga returns with 10 matches over the weekend, including three on Saturday, among them Atletico Madrid’s trip to newly-promoted Catalan outfit Girona.

Thousands of police officers and security personnel will be mobilised in and around Spanish stadiums.

The Vuelta, one of cycling’s three Grand Tours, begins in the French city of Nimes on Saturday but the three-week race enters Spain on Tuesday with a stage finishing in Tarragona. Thousands of spectators will line the route.

Tarragona is only 20 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast from Cambrils, where a car rammed into pedestrians, injuring six civilians and a police officer early on Friday morning. One of the civilians later died.

That incident came just hours after the attack in Barcelona, when a white van sped down the popular Las Ramblas avenue, packed full of tourists on Thursday afternoon, knocking people down and killing 13.

Authorities in Spain – a country obsessed with football – have decided to go ahead with sporting events despite security fears.

The LFP, the body that runs La Liga, confirmed that top-flight matches, including Barcelona’s home meeting with Betis at the Camp Nou on Sunday, would go ahead.

A minute’s silence will be held before kick-offs around the country while Barcelona players will sport black armbands and players will wear shirts with ‘Barcelona’ replacing individual names on the back.

Maximum measures

“LaLiga...hopes that supporters will be able to enjoy matches normally on the opening matchday,” the league said in a mail sent to AFP.

Barcelona said that postponing Sunday’s game, due to kick off at 8:15pm (1815 GMT), had not been considered.

The club were waiting for instructions from authorities about any additional security measures that may be required at the Camp Nou, the biggest football ground in Europe with a capacity of 99,354.

“Given the increase in situations of danger, terrorism, the club have already taken measures to reinforce security,” said a club spokesperson.

“The rule is to apply the maximum possible measures, and in extraordinary situations like this, apply them much more strictly.”

In Nimes the same level of vigilance was being used by organisers of the Vuelta. They said on Friday that they were working with authorities to assure the protection of fans and of the event itself.

The first two stages on Saturday and Sunday take place in southern France before Monday’s third stage in the Pyrenees concludes in Andorra.

“Extraordinary measures” have been taken by the government of Andorra, with more agents mobilised and border controls reinforced in the tiny principality that borders France and Spain.

The Vuelta, like most cycling races, is by its very nature eminently complex in terms of security with potentially millions of spectators lining roads and large numbers of people gathering in towns where stages begin or end.

For riders, the scenes from Barcelona brought back memories of a similar attack in Nice which killed 86 people during last year’s Tour de France, casting a shadow over that race.

“Just horrific scenes reminiscent of what happened in Nice during the Tour last year. Of course our thoughts and best wishes are with all those affected in this attack,” said Britain’s Tour de France champion Chris Froome.

However, Froome and the rest of the peloton were refusing to let terrorism fears affect their build-up to the Vuelta.

“It’s something you can spend a lot of time thinking about but it’s something that’s completely outside of your control, you just hope that you wouldn’t see anything like that personally,” Froome added.

Do you prefer your favourite sports stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday? We have got you covered. Subscribe to The Field’s newsletter.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.