Serie A prepares to resume under Covid-19 cloud | Football News

Having previously been largely unaffected by the latest strain of Covid-19, Italy’s Serie A prepares to return from its winter break on Thursday with cases on the rise.
There is a full round of fixtures set to be played on Thursday – Italy’s traditional Epiphany public holiday – with 19 of the 20 clubs involved all having at least one Covid-19 case to contend with.
As English Premier League games were being postponed with regularity in December, Serie A matches, by and large, went ahead without any disruption.
The only Serie A match that was postponed in December was Udinese’s clash with Salernitana, which descended into chaos after the local health authority (ASL) banned the recently-promoted side from travelling.
Udinese players showed up as the game was not postponed by the league’s governing body. They named a starting line-up but remained in the dressing room, and after 45 minutes had passed from the scheduled kickoff time, the game was abandoned.
The situation, however, has changed. Having previously had isolated positive cases spread across the league, outbreaks at certain Serie A clubs have got out of control.
Bottom side Salernitana are the hardest hit with nine of their players having Covid-19, with the ASL planning to place the club into quarantine measures once more, meaning their clash with Venezia on Thursday is in doubt.
Juventus’ fixture against Napoli is at risk, with the visitors confirming six players had tested positive for Covid-19, plus coach Luciano Spalletti, on Tuesday. The local ASL may intervene here, too.
Torino cancelled their training session on Tuesday after an outbreak ahead of their trip to Atalanta, while big-name players such as Juve captain Giorgio Chiellini and Inter Milan striker Edin Dzeko have the virus.
Serie A’s position remains the same.
“We will go on with the program as scheduled without any postponement,” the league told Reuters in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are not able to decide which games to postpone and which ones to play. The situation is hard for every team, but we must go ahead.”
As the new Omicron variant spreads throughout the country – Italy reported a record 170,844 coronavirus cases on Tuesday – stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to a maximum 50% to fight rising infections.

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