Another Serie A suspension would be ‘worse than apocalyptic’, says ex-FIGC president Tavecchio

A surge in positive test results across the country has many wondering if sport will be called off yet again to reduce the spread of coronavirus

Former president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Carlo Tavecchio has asserted his belief that suspending Serie A for a second time following a rise in Covid-19 cases would be “worse than apocalyptic” for the sport.

Following the latest round of testing, 26 players in the Italian top-tier have tested positive for coronavirus, with Genoa posting a worrying 17 cases, while Antonio Conte’s Inter side returned four.

Napoli, meanwhile, are still waiting to hear from the disciplinary commission after deciding against taking to the field for their highly-anticipated clash with Juventus – the club having been banned from travelling by the Naples health authority due to an increase in cases in the area.

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Should Gennaro Gattuso’s team be punished, they will be condemned to accept a 3-0 loss and potentially a one-point deduction.

Tavecchio, who spent four years in the top job with the FIGC between 2014 and 2018, has weighed in on the chaotic situation, and feels that calling a halt to football in Italy to help slow the spread of the virus would be catastrophic.

“There is a protocol that was approved by all the authorities and is valid for various different situations,” Tavecchio told Radio Kiss Kiss .

“As far as I know, there was also an agreement between the clubs that they would continue to play, even if the squads were significantly reduced by cases.

“The local authorities therefore have to come into line with, or at least work with, the central authority of the State. If Serie A were to be suspended again, it’d be worse than apocalyptic for the sport in this country.”

Elsewhere, current FIGC president Gabriele Gravina released a statement asking clubs to “rigorously apply protocol” to ensure matches can continue to be played, while adding that reopening stadiums to fans is far from the top of the governing body’s to-do list.

“Over the last few days, a series of comments have caused further confusion and fuelled pointless tension,” Gravina wrote.

“What we ask is for everyone to rigorously apply the protocol, because it represents the only reliable instrument we have to guarantee that sporting competitions can continue the way they have started.

“The FIGC shared a clear approach with the Minister for Health Roberto Speranza and Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora, and only thanks to this rapport of mutual trust and collaboration can we face all the difficulties connected to this terrible pandemic.

“We are well aware that with this surge in cases, the issue of reopening the stadiums to fans must not be a priority.”

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