Italian Olympic chief '99 percent' sure of June Serie A restart

Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

The president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Thursday that he is "99 percent" sure that the Serie A season will restart next month following its coronavirus-enforced suspension.

"From one to 100, what do I think the chances are Serie A starts on 13 June? I'd say 99 percent," Giovanni Malago told public broadcaster RAI.

"Everything is ready for a restart, to put the system in a position to begin again. However if you asked me what the chances are of the season finishing once it's begun, I'd need a crystal ball."

On Wednesday Serie A clubs announced they wanted to return to competition on 13 June, over three months since the season was halted, if they get the all-clear from the Italian government.

The country's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has given clubs the green light to restart team training sessions from Monday after players were allowed to enter club facilities for individual sessions earlier in the month.

The most delicate issue surrounding a possible restart to the 2019-20 campaign is the quarantine period after an eventual positive test, with government scientists seeking a two-week isolation period for those who have been in contact with the infected person.

"I don't know why they made that decision, I've heard it's one that could still be looked at, but I don't want to enter into these considerations," said Malago of a rule created by the government scientists.

"These are serious people who no doubt, when placed with choosing between a restrictive or more flexible rule, want to ensure the country's protection."

On Thursday the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced that it was sending a team of inspectors to check that clubs were respecting the current medical protocol put in place to enable the return to training.

"The team will check that professional clubs are conforming to the protocols, first the one for individual sessions and then as of May 18 for collective training," the FIGC said in a statement.

The announcement comes after newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that Lazio players were playing three-on-three matches at the end of sessions, which if true would be a violation of the protocol.

 

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