Wednesday March 3 2021
Medic wants COVID protocol 'reviewed'

A member of the FIGC medical commission who helped design the COVID protocol admits the guidelines ‘ought to be reviewed’ in the wake of the Lazio-Torino farce.

The game was meant to be on Tuesday, but the Lega Serie A refused to postpone it, despite the fact Torino were under quarantine ordered by the local health authority (ASL) until midnight last night.

“The problem is that this was a midweek round, so very close to when the outbreak first occurred,” Bologna chief medic and member of the FIGC medical commission Gianni Nanni told Radio Punto Nuovo.

The protocol allows clubs to request one game postponed as a ‘bonus’, but if the outbreak is not resolved by the next fixture, they must either present a youth team or accept an automatic 3-0 defeat.

“Torino postponed the game with Sassuolo five days earlier, and it’s unlikely that players can recover in such a short space of time.

“The other issue is that the ASL considered those testing negative to also be a risk for the club. There are rules, and unfortunately the rules do not plan for that. They consider anyone testing negative to be safe to play.

“This outbreak is different to before, because it includes the English variant of COVID, which is responsible for the surge in cases throughout Italy at the moment.”

Considering all these elements, and the fact Napoli won their appeal to have the Juventus match replayed despite originally having a 3-0 defeat imposed and one point docked, should the Serie A COVID protocol be reviewed?

“In part, yes,” agrees Nanni. “Since it was originally designed, some things happened that deserve attention.”