Serie A: Plans for late afternoon kickoffs of matches spark opposition from players
Plans to play some Serie A matches at 16:30 local time in the Italian summer have sparked opposition, with the captain of one team describing the idea as scandalous.
Rome: Plans to play some Serie A matches at 16:30 local time in the Italian summer have sparked opposition, with the captain of one team describing the idea as scandalous.
Serie A is hoping to resume on 13 June following the coronavirus stoppage and would have to rush through 12 match days in a short space of time to complete the 2019/20 season. The government is due to decide on Thursday if and when the league can resume.
Several media reports over the weekend said that Serie A was planning to stagger matches being played on the same day with kickoffs at 16:30, 18:45 and 21:00 local time.
“Play at 16:30 in the middle of summer, June or July? There’s no way we’re playing at that time,” said Umberto Calcagno, the vice-president of the Italian Players’ Association (AIC), in an interview with La Repubblica.
“The (club) presidents just think of the television, not the health of the players.”
Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello also expressed concern.
“You’re risking the safety of the players,” he told state broadcaster Rai in a radio interview. “Playing so many games, with high temperatures, won’t be easy. Playing at 16.30 is scandalous, it’s not feasible.”
Former Italy national team doctor Enrico Castellacci said it reminded him of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“It’s hard to play at that time because it’s very hot in the summer,” he said in a radio interview. “I remember the World Cup in Brazil, we played with 90% humidity at one o’clock in the afternoon. These are difficult conditions to withstand.”
“It’s a time of day that I would have avoided.”
The Serie A season usually runs from late August until late May but has been suspended since 9 March. Matches are generally played at 12:30. 15:00, 18:00 and 21:00, although the afternoon kickoffs are avoided in August and early September.
In a Premier League statement, club captains said that instead, they would bend before selected games, "and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause".
Cristiano Ronaldo was “happy to be back” playing for Manchester United after he appeared for 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Spanish team Rayo Vallecano in a friendly match at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Ousmane Dembele and Moise Kean scored two goals apiece as Barcelona and Juventus fought to an entertaining 2-2 draw in their US pre-season friendly in Dallas on Tuesday.