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Coronavirus pandemic: Serie A is not up for a quick restart as per leading Italian health official

"If I had to give a technical report, it would not be favourable" said Giovanni Rezza, director of infectious diseases at the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS).

April 14, 2020 / 03:15 PM IST

A leading Italian health official says he does not see how Serie A, which has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could resume in the next few weeks.

Italy football federation (FIGC) head Gabriele Gravina said on April 11 that he hoped teams could begin training in May - provided players tested negative for the new coronavirus - with the first games possibly coming at the end of that month.

Also read: Serie A expected to return in May by Italian FA chief

However, Giovanni Rezza, director of infectious diseases at the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), disagreed.

"If I had to give a technical report, it would not be favourable" he told reporters.

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"Football is a contact sport with a risk of transmission. They have proposed a close monitoring of the players with almost daily tests, although, honestly, to me that seems to be stretching things a little. And we are almost into May already."

However, at the end of the day it was not his call, he said.

"It will be the politicians who decid" added Rezza. "It's a difficult decision to take because of the health implications."

Also read: Serie A medical guidelines being drawn by Italy for league's re-start

Serie A has been on hold since March 9, with players at several clubs testing positive for COVID-19, which has killed more than 113,000 people globally.

The FIGC said last week it had begun drawing up medical guidelines for a re-start of the championship. Its medical council is due to meet again on April 15.
Reuters
first published: Apr 14, 2020 03:14 pm

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