Del Piero announces coronavirus fundraiser, warns USA over pandemic

Italy's World Cup-winning side of 2006 are coming together to raise funds to fight coronavirus, according to Azzurri legend Alessandro Del Piero, who warned the United States that the worst is yet to come.

The former Juventus attacker posted a message on Instagram announcing the fundraiser involving stars from Italy's 2006 triumph, including Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon.

Del Piero is spearheading the campaign to raise funds for the Italian Red Cross, and he told his 3.7 million followers: "I, together with my other 2006 World Champion companions, take the field again to win a new challenge. A fundraiser to be allocated to the @crocerossaitaliana to help our country in an emergency to coronavirus.

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"You are part of our team too: United we will win again!"

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, Del Piero – who lives in Los Angeles – said that the USA is currently going through the stages of the pandemic that his homeland experienced over the last fortnight.

"We are basically experiencing now what Italy had two or three weeks ago," Del Piero said.

"There isn’t currently any clear advice on what to do, so people are panic-buying in the supermarkets.

"We Italians followed what was happening back home and are therefore more prepared. America will not be immune from the coronavirus."

Like most European leagues, MLS is currently suspended with a team training moratorium recently extended as the United States ramps up its attempts to combat the pandemic. 

“Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, March 20th,” a statement said.

“During this time, MLS players are expected to remain in each club’s respective market, and have been advised to exercise safe social distancing measures.

“MLS is working with public health authorities, in collaboration with the MLS clubs, the MLS Players Association, and in consultation with the other North American professional sports leagues to finalize a protocol that would permit players to access training facilities for rehab or individual training under safe conditions during the team training moratorium.

“MLS remains in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on this continually evolving situation and will provide further updates as they become available.”

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