Wednesday May 13 2020
Spadafora: 'Too much football talk'

Vincenzo Spadafora is ‘hopeful’ Serie A will resume but stresses it will only happen ‘in complete safety’, while the debate on football has been ‘excessive’.

Spadafora’s handling of football during the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in accusations that he is against the idea of the season starting up again, but he assured his government were only putting the health of its citizens first.

“We’re hopeful of the season resuming, but only in complete safety after the appropriate measures have been taken and in keeping with the protocol,” he said during a Senate hearing.

“The government has always kept a precise and coherent line, putting the health of its people first.

“It wasn’t at all possible to resume any sooner due to instrumental pressures. We know the need to end the season arises not only from sporting reasons but also for legitimate economic reasons.

“Until now, the general picture of the virus’ spread didn’t allow us to take leaps forward.

“To date, those who have decided on a specific date are those who have chosen to stop like France.

“Even Germany, which will also resume playing, once postponed its recovery date to keep in line with the evolution of the pandemic and spread of the virus through teams.

“I think the FIGC can readjust its protocol ahead of the resumption of team training.

“I’m aware of the passion around football and the importance of the sector, but I found the escalation of the debate around football to be excessive, at a time when Italians are concerned about health and their jobs.”

One of the Minister for Sport’s more controversial demands is a squad being placed into isolation for two weeks if one of its players test positive for COVID-19...

“Someone asked why a supermarket wouldn’t close if one of its checkout staff tested positive, while in the case of a team it’s prescribed that they should go into quarantine.

“The answer’s obvious. In a supermarket it‘s possible for people to keep their distance and use masks, whereas football is, by nature, a contact sport.

“We’ll reopen sports facilities by May 25 at the latest, but we’d rather reopen them earlier, providing we get an answer from the scientific committee.

“We’ve reached a total of around 1bn for sports funding through ordinary resources already available to the ministry and those that are extraordinary.”