Coronavirus: Italy's minister for sport urges caution over Serie A return

Omnisport

Italy's minister for sport has warned there are no guarantees over the return of Serie A despite plans to ease lockdown measures.

On Sunday it was announced by Italian PM Giuseppe Conte that the country would begin to relax some restrictions, with reported cases of coronavirus decreasing.

The timeline would allow for sports teams to resume group training by May 18, albeit with social distancing measures in place.

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Although such a move suggests a return to something resembling normality, minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora urged caution as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat.

"We'll resume training for team sports from May 18, but only if the conditions of safety and security can be confirmed over the next few weeks," he told Rai 1, with Serie A having been halted in March.

"I don't wish to penalise or slow down the resumption of football, but I have to say we'll see because there need to be rigid and certain protocols in place on the safety of the athletes.

"The FIGC (Italian Football Federation) presented a protocol last night and the scientific committee considered it insufficient, so it needs adjustments. Only from that moment, when the protocol is agreed, can we decide whether or not to restart football.

"We realise that the world of football deserves respect and support, as it is one of the largest economic resources in the country."

Italy has been one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, with over 26,000 deaths.

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