Tuesday May 19 2020
Protocol for matches 'not finalised'

FIGC medical expert Vincenzo Salini explains the protocol has been agreed for Serie A group training, but ‘the one for matches has not yet been finalised.’

There was a significant breakthrough today, as the Government’s CTS (technical scientific committee of experts) finally agreed to a shared medical protocol with the Lega Serie A, allowing group training to begin.

The changes mean if a player tests positive for COVID-19, he will be quarantined, while the rest of the squad will go into a training retreat to isolate from the outside world, but can continue to train together during that period.

They will be tested intensively to help keep the risk of infection low and catch any positive cases early.

It also allows the players to return home to their families if everyone tests negative, rather than lock the squad into a training retreat for weeks on end.

“This protocol can realistically be implemented and the pandemic situation has changed since the first version was drawn up in April,” Professor Salini told Radio Marte.

“I think it’s very likely we will find some positive cases, but with voluntary isolation, we can easily keep the rest going.”

However, this protocol is just for group training and an entirely different one must be worked out by May 28 if the Serie A matches are to resume from mid-June.

“The current protocol is only for the first two-three weeks of training. We’re working on the protocol for matches and it has not yet been finalised,” continued the FIGC scientific committee member.

“In the new protocol for games, we’d also have to face the matter of travelling to away fixtures, entering stadiums and more. We will have to follow the Bundesliga by having players wear masks when sitting on the bench, because you cannot guarantee social distancing here.

“You can complain and say why allow the players to get tangled up when marking each other on a corner? Because it’s about common sense and context.

“To be honest, I don’t see why hugging shouldn’t be allowed after a goal, because there is going to be a lot of contact between players on the pitch. I’ve been in football for 20 years, so there are things I know to expect from sports medicine that a virologist might not think of.

“I do believe we are closer to resuming the season now, although I was optimistic from the start.”