Serie A president calls for return of small number of fans

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(Reuters) - Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino said at least 1,000 fans should be allowed to attend matches within the next few weeks after the government guaranteed at least 25% capacity in the European Championship games being staged in Rome in June and July.

Italy's soccer federation (FIGC) confirmed on Tuesday that fans will be allowed to attend the country's Euro 2020 opener against Turkey on June 11, two further group games and a quarter final.

Dal Pino said fans should therefore be allowed to attend domestic league matches before the end of the season.

"I warmly welcome the government's decision," Dal Pino said in a statement. "Serie A has prepared a detailed protocol for a year to reopen the facilities to the public, in total safety and protection for fans, with gradually increasing percentages.

"We expect that in the next few weeks we will be able to return to host at least 1,000 spectators, a number equal to that with which we opened earlier this season, guaranteeing ample spacing in outdoor facilities.

"By monitoring the progress of the pandemic, infections and vaccinations, I am also certain that for the last rounds of Serie A we can have stadium opening percentages identical to those guaranteed for the European Championship."

Italy has registered 115,088 deaths linked to COVID-19, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain. The country has reported 3.79 million cases to date.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)