Health official: ‘COVID risk in football low’

The chief health official in Italy said there should be very little risk of COVID-19 spreading through playing football. “The contact isn’t solid enough.”

President of the Consiglio Superiore di Sanità Franco Locatelli made the comment during this evening’s press conference when asked about the football season resuming.

“I don’t think a football can represent a vehicle to spread coronavirus when there are 22 players, plus six who could come off the bench and three referees,” said Locatelli.

“You need solid contact and this doesn’t seem solid enough.”

Football is a contact sport, but the plan is to ensure through regular testing that players are not infected before they step on to the pitch.

The Lega Serie A is eager to resume training from May 4, when the Government is expected to ease the lockdown restrictions following a downward turn in the number of deaths, new cases and hospitalisations in Italy.

That trend has been going for several days now, figures that Locatelli called “comforting.”

A protocol has already been drawn up by the FIGC for how teams can resume training and eventually games, including regular testing of players and staff, keeping them in a training retreat and maintaining social distancing for the first week at least.

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