Tuesday April 28 2020
Acerbi: 'Government rule makes no sense'

Lazio captain Francesco Acerbi protests at the Government’s confusing social distancing rules. “We were stunned. How can we run in the park, but not in a training ground?”

The Government is facing a strong backlash from Serie A clubs and the FIGC after the announcement of Phase Two in the coronavirus pandemic response.

Citizens can resume running in the park with a two-metre distance from others as of May 4, while athletes for individual sports such as tennis can also start training.

However, team sports including football are not given the all-clear to even enter a training centre until May 18, which will delay the start of the Serie A season.

“I am a player, so I don’t want to stir up controversy, but there’s something here that doesn’t make sense,” Acerbi told Lazio Style Radio.

“How come we’re allowed to go running in a public park, but not in a training ground where we’re locked away and regularly tested? It doesn’t seem right, because I am absolutely certain we’d be able to maintain social distancing measures better in a training ground than out in the open.

“If the Government says we cannot go into training grounds, then we’ll have to make do, but we were honestly stunned at the latest decision and I say that on behalf of all football players.

“I don’t see what the problem is and the Government needs to provide us with an explanation, because it doesn’t make sense.”

Lazio are leading the battle against the Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora, who is continuing to warn that not only is May 18 the earliest date to start training, but also there are no guarantees the season will resume at all.

“Football is the best-loved sport in Italy, but it is also a very important industry for the economy of this country,” continued Acerbi.

“Clearly we ought to resume while respecting the rules, and I realise there are many out there who don’t care about football, but this is an important industry and we’re running out of time to conclude the season. This is why it’s important to return to training as soon as possible.”

The Lazio captain is more at risk than most from the coronavirus, as he twice recovered from cancer.

“I tell everyone to hang in there, because in life there are always two paths: the right and the wrong. The right one is always the most frightening, because it is full of obstacles. You need great strength and to never give up. Always look at the positive and remember there is calm after the storm.”

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