Thursday April 15 2021
Mancini: 'Vaccines to elderly before Azzurri'

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is not impressed by the pledge to vaccinate the squad against COVID before Euro 2020. ‘I hope those who need it more get it first.’

After CONMEBOL announced it would vaccinate all the players ahead of the Copa America, today FIGC President Gabriele Gravina confirmed the Italy squad was “in that group of subjects who must be vaccinated before the European Championship, together with the athletes for the Olympics.”

As the vaccine roll-out in Italy has been very slow compared to initial expectations, this has raised a few eyebrows.

It also remains to be seen which vaccine will be used, considering several nations have paused the Astra-Zeneca injection for those under 30 because of the very small risk of blood clots.

“I hope that the people who need the vaccine get it first, above all the elderly,” commented Mancini during an event in Ancona.

“Then we’ll see what happens later on. It’s true that we travel a lot and, despite the fact we all had negative swabs at the time, some lads then tested positive after our trips to Bulgaria and Lithuania.”

Daniele De Rossi, who is now part of Mancini’s Italy coaching staff, had COVID complications serious enough to require hospitalisation for a few days.

Italy and Rome’s Stadio Olimpico were only guaranteed the right to host four Euro 2020 games after committing to opening up to at least 25 per cent capacity.

“I hope the stadiums can open up before that in Serie A, obviously with the right safety measures in place,” continued the Italy boss.

“It shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as these are open spaces. I also hope this month we can slowly see a return to normality, with children getting back to playing sport and activities like bars, restaurants and theatres opening up.”