Inter’s Serie A clash at Bologna on Thursday was called off at the eleventh hour due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the home club’s squad.
Bologna had requested that their game against the leaders be postponed, along with Sunday’s meeting with Cagliari, after “a number” of positive tests in the camp were returned.
Although there was no immediate confirmation from league authorities, Inter confirmed less than an hour before the game was due to start at Renato Dall’Ara that it would not go ahead.
Bologna had revealed on Wednesday that their entire squad had been ordered by the local health authority to quarantine for at least five days.
The Inter players warmed up on the pitch, but there were no Rossoblu opponents for what should have been their first game after the winter break. It remains to be seen whether league chiefs order it to go ahead on a new date or award the points to Inter.
Nerazzurri CEO Giuseppe Marotta said there should be no repeat of the decision to call off the game so late, and he wants it to be made mandatory for players to be vaccinated.
Marotta said in Bologna : “First of all, we reaffirm the primary objective of all: to safeguard the health of the players, the fans, all those who revolve around this sport.
“Bologna were ready to take the field and had to accept the decision of the ASL [local health authority]. There is no guideline for sport: we need a protocol that limits the competence of the ASL, otherwise these situations will be repeated.
“The issue of the protocol was addressed in the Lega Council, which will be announced with an official communication. We are faced with a scenario of great confusion and difficult to interpret.
“There are matches postponed and others that will be played: this is because every ASL decides autonomously. So here are cases like that of Bologna-Inter, which will not be played, or that of Spezia-Hellas, which will be played despite the 11 positives in the Venetian team.
“We need a guideline, a discussion with the government. The autonomy of the ASL in the decisions, taken to safeguard public health, causes differences, from case to case.
“I certainly hope for the introduction of full vaccination obligation for all players. If all players had the third dose, the spread of the virus and damage to health would be severely limited.
“The fourth wave caught us off guard, some leagues postponed the matches, others did not. The situation is difficult to assess.
“The postponement of these rounds would have ensured a more fluid management, but then the calendar would have been very compressed: it would have been really difficult to find days of recovery.”