A small update as Serie A’s current 2019/20 campaign is headed towards either an indefinite suspension, or getting called off entirely. There is no one around the country sounding like Serie A will make UEFA’s May 25th deadline of announcing they’re “all in” for summer football.
Tommasi: Players Need More Time to Train
Damiano Tommasi confirmed the Italian player’s association’s latest position on players getting to train from May 18th onward: It simply wouldn’t be enough time. Between individual training ramping up to full group training, there would be a bigger risk of injury to players.
So the players aren’t too keen on the workload they’ve been given, in the small restart window to work within. Tommasi, the player’s president, has asked that team-sports be giving the same deadline as individual sports (May 4th).
Paulo Dybala, Ligue 1, Bundesliga Add to Concerns
There are three other pieces of news beyond Rome that pushed the 2019/20 season beyond the point of no return.
First was the news, yesterday, that Ligue 1 decided to suspend all football indefinitely until September. That effectively makes them the most high-profile league to date to say “we’re out” to UEFA’s in-or-out May 25th deadline.
The Bundesliga was hoping for a May 9th green light for training, but Germany has already witnessed a new spike in positive Covid-19 cases—or at least the media reports of them for now—after relaxing their pandemic restrictions, putting their own restart into doubt and confusion.
The most resistant to calling off football will be Spain and England. But on Italian soil, Paulo Dybala’s case highlights just how little clarity there is on a way forward.
The Juventus player has now tested positive for Coronavirus for the 4th test in a row. Dybala remains asymptomatic throughout, but it shows just how little we know about the determinacy of our current Coronavirus test kits, let alone the virus group itself.
Italian Minister of Sport: “I’d Start Thinking About Next Season”
The Italian government’s football man, Vincenzo Spadafora, has turned up the volume on the government’s position that they’re working with a view to Serie A shutting down for the season:
“Our science committee and the FIGC are still talking, with the FIGC having presented a protocol that isn’t good enough. I’ve always said that us allowing a restart to training does not mean a restart for the league.”
“I see the season restart as more and more of a long shot,” Spadafora continued, “because players have to restart their training routine in the right way. If I were one of the [club] presidents, I’d be thinking about preparing for a new season when there’s more certainty. France won’t be the last to put a stop on things, and that could push Italy to go with the same reasoning.”
“I’m starting to see there may even be a surprise coming in the next few days. I bet the [Serie A] presidents themselves will be asking for the league to be shut down, to let them prepare fully for a new season.”
“I’ve asked that the [FIGC] protocol be realistic. Are we sure that we can make enough tests to go around? Is this just a protocal for Serie A? Will it end up being that Serie B and C don’t have the resources to make it happen?
“It’d be foolish to devalue football, as it finances other sports around the country. But we can’t just do things in a rush. Even England is starting to talk about a Plan B. I will help those [Italian clubs] in financial difficulty, but if Serie A cannot restart in full safety then Serie A has to shut down.”
So that’s pretty much that. Not everyone is happy about it.
Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has come out and said he doesn’t understand why footballers aren’t allowed to train in groups, and that football would give people the escapism they need to forget about the problems of the world.
The thing is no one (at least not me) is in a position to definitely say that’s what we need right now, or the very same thing we should actively want to distance ourselves from. Do we even want to forget?
The problem is here, it doesn’t go away and we’re just trying to find a non-killjoy way to get to grips with this new everyday routine.