Following Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's decree last week, which outlined the gradual relaxation of quarantine measures throughout the country, football fans had a reason to smile...sort of. While Conte's plan permitted athletes to return to training on May 4th, that was strictly limited to athletes in individual sports, not football clubs. Conte's well intended plan was soon met with a wave of criticism from within football's ranks, with Roma's very own Davide Santon pointing out that individualized trainings at football grounds is no worse than people running freely in public parks.
Still, despite those complaints, the weekend kicked-off with a fair bit of uncertainty: Would clubs adhere to the May 18th opening day slated for football teams? Would they push back on the government in some official capacity? Or would they just exploit some loophole/ambiguity in the wording of Conte's May 4th decree?
Well, thanks to our friends at Sassuolo, we now have an answer. Rather than waiting for the government and FIGC to provide clarification, Sassuolo, with permission of their regional government, were the first Italian club to announce an individual and socially-distanced training regimen for their players.
With the Neroverdi pushing open the door, it didn't take long for other clubs to follow suit, provided their regional governments were on board. That includes Roma and Lazio, who were given the all-clear from the Lazio Regione to resume training.
#ASRoma would like to thank the Lazio Regione for its sensitivity towards team sports. Next week, Roma players will undergo medical assessments and begin individual training sessions – observing safe distancing guidelines – at the Trigoria training centre. pic.twitter.com/aE0ue0Pd7Y— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 2, 2020
We're still quite a ways away from the resumption of the 2019-2020 season, but this is the first bit of good footballing news we've had in almost two months.
We'll provide more details as they become available.