Saturday February 29 2020
Minister reacts to 'new Calciopoli' claims

Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora hit out at “unacceptable” suggestions some clubs were favoured by Serie A postponements due to the Coronavirus outbreak, as Inter ultras complain of “a new Calciopoli.”

There were five Serie A fixtures this weekend that were meant to be played behind closed doors, as they are in the regions most affected by the infectious respiratory disease.

Those games were Juventus-Inter, Udinese-Fiorentina, Milan-Genoa, Sassuolo-Brescia and Parma-SPAL, rescheduled to May 13.

This decision prompted a great deal of criticism, particularly from fans of Inter, because their fixture list is going to be packed to the rafters for the final few weeks of the season.

They already have a game with Sampdoria to be rescheduled, called off last week, and it’s currently not clear when that can be played.

Inter ultras from the Curva Nord held out a large banner in front of the Lega Serie A headquarters this evening: ‘Calciopoli, is it happening again?’

They also released a statement on their Facebook page blaming Inter for “being unprepared as the spectres of the past loom large again with the protection of the economic interests of the ‘usual parties.’

“We hope the club can let itself be heard in the opportune arenas to at least ensure an equal completion of a league that we would like to believe is still fair.”

Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora spoke to news agency ANSA and hit back at the suggestions.

“At this current moment, it is unacceptable to judge these decisions based on partisan lines. We ought to all go beyond our personal interests, in politics as in sport, both for directors and fans.

“At these moments, we should choose our priorities, which represent public health and prudence.”

Over 1,000 cases of Coronavirus are now confirmed in Italy and the death toll has climbed to 29.

The majority of the cases are in Lombardy, Veneto and Reggio-Emilia.

There was an impressive banner in the Napoli Curva B during this evening’s game with Torino: ‘There is no rivalry in tragedy. United against COVID 19.’