Italy’s minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora said it would be “much easier” to end the Serie A season immediately as he warned the league is not guaranteed to resume.
Serie A has been suspended since last month due to the coronavirus pandemic but hopes of the 2019-20 campaign restarting have intensified as Italy plans to ease lockdown measures.
The timeline would allow for sports teams to resume group training by May 18, albeit with social distancing measures in place.
Amid widespread debate over whether to continue or scrap the season, Spadafora said via Facebook:
“Resumption must be gradual. Opinion polls would like football to stop here.
“I’m not a person who gets influenced by opinion polls. I don’t decide along the lines of common sentiment. It would be much easier to end the season immediately and the scientific community would agree.
“Carrying on the world of football is a very important thing for our country, but we must do it safely. Remember when Serie A didn’t stop? How many teams have gone into quarantine? The [Italian Football Federation] FIGC submitted a protocol and it was considered.
“Today we’re at the end of April, we can’t know for sure how the virus will evolve and how the rules will be respected, therefore we can’t know when the season will resume.
“We’ll find out at a later date, when we have the data from the implementation of protocol. The protocol has very high costs, how will Serie B find it?
“It’s not true that there isn’t full consistency with the words of President Conte and my own. Claims of a plot against Serie A are ridiculous and whoever says there is one is just as ridiculous. We’ve been working to resume training from May 18, but that doesn’t mean the leagues will start up again.”
FIGC president Gabriele Gravina added:
“We’ve always said that we’d like to restart once the conditions have been met, and the horizon offered by the government allows us to do that.
“We’re convinced of the path that we’ve taken because it’s a serious and responsible one, the only one that serves the general interest of the system and Italian sport which, for several reasons, would also be damaged by abandonment of the Serie A season.
“Our medical and scientific commission has drawn up a very rigorous protocol, as did all the other sectors that want to restart, but we’re ready to integrate it and modify it by implanting the guidelines of the commission, CONI [Italian National Olympic Committee] and recognising the FMSI [Italian Sports Medicine Federation] as a scientific reference to harmonise everything.”
Source: News update