Italy looking at plans for Serie A restart

Italian football chiefs are assessing medical guidelines for a possible Serie A restart.
Italian football chiefs are assessing medical guidelines for a possible Serie A restart.

Italy's football federation (FIGC) has begun to draw up medical guidelines for a possible restart of Serie A, which has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The FIGC said its medical committee held a video conference on Wednesday to "analyse and define a guarantee protocol for football in the event that sporting activities are allowed to resume."

Serie A was roughly two thirds of the way through the season when it was interrupted and the FIGC wants to complete the campaign to reduce financial damage.

It has said it is prepared to continue until September or October if necessary.

Italy has been one of the world's worst hit countries by the coronavirus outbreak and its death toll rose to 15,362 on Wednesday with a total of 124,632 cases. A number of Serie A footballers are among those who have been infected.

"If and when we should get the green light for a gradual restart, the world of football must be ready," said FIGC president Gabriele Gravina.

"Given the role that football plays in Italian society, I am convinced that we can make an important contribution to the whole country."

It said the protocol would include which tests should be conducted on players who have had the virus with "particular attention to the respiratory and cardiovascular system."

But Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero says he cannot see any point in concluding the season if matches are played without fans.

"Let's organise ourselves to say that this championship must end here and now," Ferrero told the Telenord television station in an interview.

"It hurts me to say this because I want to start again but only seeing my stadium, which is the most beautiful in the world, with my fans beating their drums."

Matches would almost certainly have to be played behind closed doors.

Torino and Brescia have also said the championship should be abandoned and Fiorentina believe it is unlikely to be concluded.

"What sort of match is it without the cheering of the crowd?" said Ferrero, whose side's last match before the stoppage was played without fans against Verona.

"It hurt my heart to hear that silence," he said. "You tell me how I can go to the stadium and see that desolation."

Brescia are currently last and facing relegation while Sampdoria and Torino are one and two points out of the danger zone respectively.

Australian Associated Press