Vincenzo Spadafora, the Italian Sports Minister insisted Wednesday that Serie A football will only be reopened when all protocols can be met and “the safety of all” is guaranteed, adding that he found the intense debate “excessive”.
“If the championship resumes, as we all hope, it will be because we’ll have taken the appropriate measures and protocols to resume in complete safety, for all,” Spadafora explained to the Italian Senate.
As at May 4, Italian teams returned to individual training after a two-month lockdown, with group sessions set for May 18 under very strict conditions.
There has been much back and forth discussions regarding the quarantine period after a positive test. Government scientists are seeking a two-week isolation period for those in contact with the infected person.
“Someone asked why a supermarket does not close if the cashier is positive while if a player is, the whole team is sent to quarantine,” said Spadafora.
“Because in football it is not possible to keep a distance with players having to run and mark each other, which does not happen in the supermarket.
“Football is by nature a sport where you cannot maintain distances. Players must run, score, find themselves in the penalty area.”
Spadafora added: “I’m aware of the passion surrounding football and the importance of the sector, but I find the debate around football at a time like this excessive.”
Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic recording almost 31,000 deaths since its first case was confirmed.