Coronavirus Outbreak: Brescia president Massimo Cellino threatens to forfeit matches if Serie A re-starts

Brescia president Cellino, formerly owner of Cagliari and Leeds United, ridiculed the idea that the Serie A season could be extended to August or September

Reuters April 02, 2020 17:16:50 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Brescia president Massimo Cellino threatens to forfeit matches if Serie A re-starts

The president of bottom-of-the-table Brescia has said that it makes no sense to try to complete the Serie A season and that he would rather forfeit matches than put his team on the pitch.

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File image of Brescia president Massimo Cellini (L) with Mario Balotelli. AP

A national lockdown has been place in Italy since 9 March and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday that the restrictions would remain in place until at least 13 April.

He added the government would start softening the measures only with the approval of its scientific advisors, without setting an exact date.

Meanwhile, there is no indication of when football matches, or even training, could re-start.

“This season doesn’t make sense any more,” Brescia president Massimo Cellino told Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview on Thursday.

“We’ve stopped, no team will return as before, the matches will be behind closed doors plus there’s a risk to the health of the athletes. For me to go back to business is pure madness.”

“If they force us to play, I’d be willing to not field the team and lose the matches 3-0 out of respect for the citizens of Brescia and their loved ones who are no longer there.”

Forfeited matches are usually awarded by a scoreline of 3-0 to the other team.

Cellino, formerly owner of Cagliari and Leeds United, ridiculed the idea that the season could be extended to August or September.

He also refuted the suggestion that he simply wanted to save Brescia from relegation, saying that his team deserved to be where they were and that “I am to blame.”

“The season has to finish on 30 June, the deadline for the presentation of club balance sheets and players’ contracts,” he said.

“To extend the season, we need to change all the national and international rules: players’ contracts, balance sheets, deadlines with the banks, the transfer market, preparation, start of the new season. It will be absolute chaos and for what?”

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