Italy's sports minister says decision imminent on return to football

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

Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Wednesday that a decision will be made "in the coming days" on whether Italian football clubs can return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Spadafora held a two-hour video-conference on Wednesday with representatives of Italian football, including federation chiefs, professional and amateurs leagues, players and doctors.

"I listened with great attention to the various positions that emerged and in the next few days, after a discussion with the Minister of Health and the Technical Scientific Committee, we will issue the updated provisions regarding the possibility and the procedures for a return to training," said Spadafora.

The 20 Serie A clubs voted unanimously on Tuesday to complete the Italian league season, which has been suspended for the past six weeks.

The federation presented the Minister with a medical code to allow the resumption of competition.

Players could start training again, in small groups and under strict medical supervision, from 4 May, the date on which the government plans to start easing the containment measures imposed in Italy since 10 March.

Matches would start at the end of May or the beginning of June.

Spadafora also addressed the Italian Senate earlier in the day on the "gradual resumption" of sports activities.

"This restart is necessary because sport is important not only for its economic value but also its social value," he said.

Italy have been hit hard with more than 24,000 deaths from Covid-19.

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