Inter and Napoli prepare training return

Inter and Napoli are the latest clubs to prepare a return to training next week, after the Government changed its guidelines limiting access to centres until May 18.

Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora and the Government bowed to pressure from clubs, coaches and the Players’ Association, realising the previous decree was inconsistent.

Now athletes who participate in team sports such as football will be given the same rights as individual sports, including tennis, and be allowed to enter a training ground from Monday May 4.

They will have to continue adhering to social distancing guidelines, but those will be simpler and more effectively imposed in a walled-off environment rather than running in a local park with every other citizen.

Several clubs including Bologna and Sassuolo have announced they will return to training over the next few days.

There is a slight delay, as the players and staff must first pass a COVID-19 swab test and have a blood test to check for coronavirus antibodies.

Once those results are in, they can be split into groups as per the medical protocol – those who had the illness and recovered, those who are currently ill and self-quarantined and those who did not come into contact with the virus.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Inter will also resume training at their Appiano Gentile ground from Tuesday May 5, in groups of three or four spread out evenly around four different training pitches.

All their players have already returned to Italy and Alexis Sanchez’s self-quarantine period ends tomorrow after his flight from Chile.

Napoli will do a round of swabs and blood tests on Monday, then can begin training at the Castel Volturno ground most likely from Thursday or Friday.

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