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No football has been played in Italy since March 9 © AFP/File Marco Bertorello

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Serie A group training gets all clear, season decision May 28

MILAN, Italy, May 19 – Italy’s Serie A teams have been given the green light to resume group training but will have to wait until May 28 to know whether the season can resume, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Tuesday.

Spadafora told Italian television that government scientists had accepted the Italian football federation’s (FIGC) revised health protocol.

“The Scientific Technical Committee have approved the FIGC protocol for the resumption of team training,” Spadafora told Rai.

“It is excellent news, collective training can now resume.

“The FIGC have reviewed its first proposal with clarifications on the quarantine time in case of a positive test, but above all the famous initial self-isolation is avoided.”

Spadafora said he has slated a meeting on May 28 with FIGC president Gabriele Gravina and Lega Serie A chief Paolo Dal Pino to decide on the return to competition.

“We will then decide if and when Serie A will restart,” he said.

“The important thing will be to restart with the firm intention of completing the championship, then the federations will decide the modalities and formats to be adopted.”

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The revised protocol will allow group training, but not oblige players to remain permanently in the team’s sports centre.

In the case of a positive test only the infected player will be placed in two-week’s quarantine, while the team group will be placed in isolation, and monitored, but can continue to train together.

FIGC president Gravina praised the decision “as a decisive step on the path of restarting football in Italy”.

The Italian season has been on hold since March 9 amid the pandemic which has killed more than 32,000 people in Italy.

Serie A teams have been training individually since May 4, and had been hoping to return to competition on June 13.

The FIGC pushed that date back to June 14 on Monday in line with a government decree that all sports competitions be suspended until next month.

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