Former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio urges Serie A to resume amid the pandemic, because there are so many people relying on the sport and ‘zero risk is impossible.’
A decision is expected over the next 24 hours on whether the FIGC medical protocol is accepted by the Government, which would open up to contact training and potentially games.
“At this moment, football is trapped in the claws of this situation just the same as any other profession,” Marchisio told Tuttosport.
“However, we mustn’t forget football is one of the top 10 industries in this country, with a very important financial contribution and which involves millions of people.
“Football is not just the elite of millionaire players who appear on front pages and rule social media. Even just the Serie B and Serie C players, who have a very different financial outlook, then all the less visible workers who depend on the sport for the salary that keeps their family going, like kit staff, physiotherapists, security and the media.”
The Players’ Association had at first been hesitant to get back to work, but are now eager to get the protocol finalised.
“I hope we can get back to playing soon, because I am an optimist, I love football and honestly miss it,” continued Marchisio.
“I read that there is debate over the risk of contagion, but I wouldn’t want people to wait for there to be zero risk, because that doesn’t exist in a contact sport like football.
“We must try to structure everything to lower the risk as much as possible, but if we wait for it to be zero, we’ll never play again.”
Nonetheless, the Government and in particular Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora continually push towards calling the 2019-20 season over, following the Ligue 1 example.
“It’d be a decision to be respected, but then the State would also have to take responsibility and ensure the industry doesn’t go under. I am worried, as a businessman with three restaurants, that the Government decrees so far have largely been a lot of words and very little action.
“Many football clubs would go bankrupt if they stopped playing, losing jobs not just of the players, but of everyone who makes this industry work from behind the scenes.”