Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora insisted Wednesday that Serie A football will only resume when “the safety of all” is guaranteed, saying he found the intense debate “excessive”.
“If the championship resumes, as we all hope, it will be because we’ll have taken the appropriate measures and protocols to resume in complete safety, for all,” Spadafora told the Italian Senate.
Italian teams returned to individual training after a two-month lockdown on May 4, with group sessions set for May 18 under very strict conditions.
There has been much debate over the quarantine period after a positive test, with government scientists seeking a two-week isolation period for those in contact with the infected person.
“Someone asked why a supermarket does not close if the cashier is positive while if a player is, the whole team is sent to quarantine,” said Spadafora.
“Because in football it is not possible to keep a distance with players having to run and mark each other, which does not happen in the supermarket.
“Football is by nature a sport where you cannot maintain distances. Players must run, score, find themselves in the penalty area.”
Spadafora added: “I’m aware of the passion surrounding football and the importance of the sector, but I find the debate around football at a time like this excessive.”
Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic with nearly 31,000 deaths.