Much of Inter Milan’s pre-match ritual was the same before their game in Bologna on Thursday, with the one crucial change their Serie A opponents lacked.
- Serie A had refused to suspend matches, instead forcing clubs to show up and prepare for matches even when opposing teams were absent
- League will now introduce new protocols following complaints over Bologna forced withdrawal against Inter Milan
- Poor communication between state governments and clubs has led to several similar situations
The increase in COVID-19 cases in the Bologna team has led the local health authority (ASL) to quarantine the entire team for 7-10 days from Wednesday, which means it will not could not play against Inter in a game scheduled for Thursday.
With Serie A refusing to cancel matches, Inter were forced to show up and train before the match as usual, with officials even tasked with inspecting the pitch despite no sign of Bologna players.
Serie A rules state that Inter are expected to claim a 3-0 victory pending any appeal from Bologna.
However, Inter manager Beppe Marotta, who was present at Bologna, said the system was not working.
“The situation is chaotic,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “The matches were postponed by local health authorities who decided independently.
“Bologna was ready to play and suffered the situation of the ASL who took this decision to protect the health of all, but the clarity is lacking. I would limit the power of the ASL, otherwise we will always be faced with situations similar in the future. “
Following another Serie A meeting on Thursday, the league issued a statement indicating that a new protocol would be in place whereby teams must complete their matches if they have at least 13 fit players born before the 31st. December 2003.
Clubs can choose players from their first team and their youth team who have tested negative at least 24 hours before a match.
The club that does not show up for a match will have one point taken away, while the team that does participate will have a 3-0 victory.
Juventus initially gained a 3-0 victory after similar scenes last season against Napoli.
Napoli, however, successfully appealed the decision to the Guarantee Council of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the game was played on a different date.
Four games did not take place on Thursday. Lower Salernitana was scheduled to face Venezia, but their local health authority forced the team to a five-day quarantine.
Udinese and Turin had also been placed in isolation and prevented from traveling to Fiorentina and Atalanta respectively.
Serie A then released a new statement in response to the actions of the various health authorities.
“The hope is that ASL will no longer intervene with confused and inconsistent measures which, for the moment, are causing serious damage to the Italian sports system,” we read.
“We hope that the next meeting announced by the government will finally be able, once and for all, to identify the tools for coordinating the territorial ASLs and guarantee the smooth running of the Serie A championship by ensuring a uniform procedure for the management of positive situations in the teams. . “
Valentina Vezzali, Italy’s sports undersecretary, said on Thursday that she wanted to create a control room allowing “uniform behavior of local health authorities through national coordination”.
Reuters / ABC Sport