Attempts to restart Italy’s Serie A remained on hold on Thursday after the government said it was still examining the football federation’s (FIGC) medical guidelines, which are seen as the stumbling block to a resumption of the season.
Serie A teams have been allowed to start practice this week, but only with players training individually and respecting social distancing. Full team practice is due to begin on May 18, but only if the medical protocol is approved.
On Thursday, there was a meeting between the government’s technical-scientific committee and the FIGC, but Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora said an agreement was not reached.
Instead, he said the guidelines would be sent to the Ministry of Health for a further review.
“I know that it was a very thorough meeting, with many requests from doctors and now the technical-scientific committee will draft an assessment that will be sent to the Ministry of Health,” Spadafora said.
“I hope that the problems have been solved and that, on the 18th, [the clubs] can resume team training, not only of football but also of all the other sports disciplines.”
Italian media, including Gazzetta dello Sport, said the two main issues were how to do enough testing without taking away resources from the general population and how to deal with a player testing positive.
In the latter case, some experts want the whole team to be quarantined while others believe isolating the affected player, and then re-testing the rest of the squad, would be sufficient.
Earlier on Thursday, Fiorentina said three players and three back-up staff had given positive results in blanket testing of the squad ahead of training. On Wednesday, Torino reported one player had tested positive.
Fiorentina did not name the players and said optional individual training would continue for the rest of the squad.
“The club has proceeded, as per protocol, to isolate those involved,” it said. “Tomorrow morning, the rest of the group are scheduled to undergo medical and fitness examinations prior to the start of the optional activity in the field.”
In both cases, the affected individuals were isolated from the rest of the squad.
Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello said his entire squad opposes resuming the season. “We don’t feel safe. They’re asking us to resume training and to get back out onto the field right away, concentrating 12 matches in 1½ months. It’s putting all of the players’ safety on the line,” Gastaldello said. “I’m speaking for me and for my teammates. If the price of resuming is us getting seriously injured, it’s not worth it anymore. … We’re afraid.”
Brescia are based in the Lombardy region where nearly 15,000 people have died from the coronavirus.