Genoa President Enrico Preziosi warns his club ‘risks losing many games by default and relegation to Serie B’ if the COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t ease its grip soon.
They have been the Serie A club by far worst affected by the virus, with 17 players and five members of staff testing positive.
“I still have 15 players who are positive, none of them have moved on to a negative status, and almost all of them are first choice picks,” Preziosi told the Corriere dello Sport.
“I don’t know how we are supposed to turn up to Verona and Inter. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was positive for 16 days at Milan, if that were to be replicated in all our players, it’d be a disaster.”
The Lega Serie A protocol, which is the same as the one set out by UEFA, rules that as long as a team has 13 available players including at least one goalkeeper, the game can go ahead.
Genoa already saw their Serie A match with Torino postponed due to the outbreak, but that is where the leniency ends.
“What am I supposed to do, field youth team players? The Lega Serie A is prepared for just one free pass, so if this continues, we risk a lot of 3-0 forfeit defeats and will end up in Serie B.
“I even had a dream last night that I played against Inter and scored the opening goal. That was a brutal moment when I woke up and realised it was just a dream.”
Napoli could forfeit the game with Juventus and have a point docked for their refusal to travel to Turin, despite citing an order from the local health authority to remain in the region.
“Juve-Napoli was a mortal blow to the reputation of our football. It opened up a chasm that we all tumbled into and it will be difficult to clamber back out.”
There were reports today that one of the reasons for Genoa’s outbreak being worse than the others was that their locker room has no windows and no separation between showers.
“Our training ground has been improved and disinfected, the gym is in open countryside and we passed all the federal inspections. Our respect for the protocol has been exemplary.”
Preziosi believes goalkeeper Mattia Perin originally contracted Coronavirus at a dinner and then accidentally spread it to his teammates.
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