Coronavirus: Spadafora reaffirms May 18 date for Serie A clubs to resume team training

Omnisport

Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has reiterated Serie A team training will still not resume before May 18, despite the government allowing players to return to club facilities from Monday.

A statement from Italy's Home Office on Sunday declared individual athletes - including those who play for teams - can undertake sports activities again, provided they maintain social distancing.

On Saturday, Sassuolo became the first Serie A club to confirm they would be going back to training since the season was halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Others in the top tier have since followed suit, including Inter, who will make pitches at their Appiano Gentile available to first-team squad members, albeit on a voluntary basis.

"The resumption of competitive activities will be determined and communicated as soon as the relevant regulatory framework is finalised," Inter said in a statement. 

"All the other areas of the centre will remain closed with the exception of the on-site health and technical facility, which is required to ensure a safe environment and safeguard the athletes."

It is also reported table-topping Juventus - who sit one point clear of nearest rivals Lazio at the summit - have asked their players who are currently abroad to return to Italy, allowing them to undergo a period of isolation ahead of a potential resumption.

However, Spadafora had made clear full training will not be allowed before the country's lockdown measures expire on May 17. 

"I read strange things around but nothing has changed compared to what I have always said about football: the teams' training will not resume before May 18 and the resumption of the championship for now is not really talked about," he wrote on Facebook.

"Now sorry but I'm going back to deal with all the other sports and sports centres (gyms, dance centres, swimming pools, etc) that must reopen as soon as possible!"

Italy has been one of the countries to suffer the most during the health crisis, with over 28,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

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