Coronavirus Outbreak: Serie A players, staff should be tested, isolated in training camps ahead of resumption, says FIGC

Italy has been one of the countries hardest-hit by the outbreak and players at several Serie A clubs have been among those infected

Reuters April 15, 2020 22:43:21 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Serie A players, staff should be tested, isolated in training camps ahead of resumption, says FIGC

Rome: The players and staff at Serie A clubs should be tested for coronavirus and then isolated in training camps when they begin preparing for the re-start of the season, the Italian football federation (FIGC) recommended on Wednesday.

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A view of the empty San Siro stadium during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Genoa. AP

The recommendation will be among the guidelines drawn up by the FIGC’s medical committee so that the season, on hold since 9 March because of the coronavirus outbreak, can safely restart, the FIGC said in a statement.

The FIGC is hoping that training can begin immediately after the current lockdown ends on 3 May. Italy has been one of the countries hardest-hit by the outbreak and players at several Serie A clubs have been among those infected.

“In order to restart football safely, it is essential at this stage to develop the best possible procedures to resume activity when the whole country starts up again,” said FIGC president Gabriele Gravina.

“We work without haste but also without resting so that we are ready when the institutions give us the green light.”

The FIGC said, that for the start of training, each club should form a group of players, technical staff, doctors, physiotherapists, and other staff which is “completely negative” and isolate them in a summer-style training camp.

It said that all members of the group should be tested for the coronavirus in the 96 hours before the start of the camp.

It said the next step of the protocol will focus on “management of the retreat with specific attention to the various training activities and the organisation for the use of the various facilities, including the medical and physiotherapy room.”

The recommendation also suggested a staggered re-start to the season with Serie A going first followed by Serie B and then Serie C.

The FIGC has said it is determined to complete the season, which still has 12 of the 38 matchdays to play, although some clubs want it to be called off.

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