Consiglio Federale

Coronavirus: the FIGC seek government authorisation to hold Serie A games behind closed doors

President Gravina: “Maximum collaboration with institutions, we’re relying on the assessments from those who have complete knowledge of the virus’ status in our country.” Dal Pino elected as FIGC Vice President

Monday, February 24, 2020

Coronavirus: the FIGC seek government authorisation to hold Serie A games behind closed doors

A meeting of the Federal Council was held to focus on the situation regarding the Coronavirus in Italy as well as the consequences for Italian football following the government’s decision to suspend all sporting activity until 1 March. FIGC President Gravina, following this morning’s medical taskforce at Coverciano, announced the Federation’s request for Serie A games to be held behind closed doors in order to safeguard the sporting competition.

An official request has been sent to the government, with Gravina expressing concern about the possible closure of sporting facilities, “because we need to allow teams to train and there’s a risk of preventing that.” Furthermore, the FIGC have announced their support of the suggestion that Inter’s Europa League game against Ludogorets be played behind closed doors next Thursday. President Gravina said the following in a press conference: “We’ve sent an official request and we’re expecting a positive response soon. As far as Serie A is concerned, I believe that we’ll have games behind closed doors by Sunday: we should have a response from the government regarding matches in the affected regions by tonight. We’ve asked for maximum coordination from all the ordinances at a local level.”

As far as the other leagues are concerned, in anticipation of a decision by Lega B by tomorrow, Lega Pro have decided to postpone matchday nine and ten in both Group A and B of Serie C (Group C will continue as normal), just as the LND have decided to postpone the next matchday of Serie D (for the affected groups) as well as all regional activities for the affected areas.

Beyond this first official step, President Gravina explained that “we need to manage things as we go. We all know that there are some sporting events which simply can’t be postponed, but if things get worse then we’ll follow instructions. We’re relying on the technical, political and scientific guidance from those who have the exact knowledge of the virus in our country. We’re considering alternatives and we’re committed to giving the maximum support to the various leagues and championships, remaining in close contact with the Ministers of Health and Sport while we wait for decisions from the government.”

A medical taskforce met at Coverciano this morning with the aim of coordinating the sporting activities of Club Italia and the National Teams in light of the Coronavirus situation in Italy. Prof. Paolo Zeppilli, Prof. Andrea Ferretti, Prof. Carlo Tranquilli, Dr. Carmine Costabile, representatives of the leagues and the technical sectors of the FIGC, as well as Rita Angela Dragonetti from the Ministry of Health were all in attendance at the meeting. The FIGC have been in close contact with Minister Speranza and Minister Spadafora since Friday, with the aim of monitoring the situation throughout the territory and intervening where necessary. In addition to all on-pitch activity, all meetings deemed non-urgent were cancelled until further notice.

The Football Association Council has endorsed the decision to postpone the scheduled training camps for the men and women’s Under-19 National Teams and the women’s Under-23 National Team to a later date.

However, the Italy sides who have upcoming matches abroad won’t be affected. Italy Women will meet up on Thursday 27 February ready for the Algarve Cup, a prestigious tournament which will take place from 4 to 11 March. The Azzurre, who will now depart from Rome instead of Venice, will face hosts Portugal in the quarter-finals on Wednesday 4 March (21:15 CET). The four quarter-final winners will qualify for the semi-finals, which will take place on 7 March. The losers will face off to decide who finishes fifth to eighth in the standings. The women’s Under-17 National Team will play tomorrow (17:00 CET) and Thursday (15:00 CET) in a friendly double-header against Portugal in Lisbon. Meanwhile the women’s Under-19 National Team will take part in the La Manga Tournament from 5 to 9 March. The Azzurrine will play their opening fixture against Norway on Thursday 5 March (16:00 CET) before then facing Iceland and Switzerland on Saturday 7 March (14:00 CET) and Monday 9 March (12:00 CET) respectively.

As regards the men’s National Teams, the Under-16s played their opening match in the UEFA Tournament, which is currently taking place in Antalya, this morning. Daniele Zoratto’s side, who suffered a 5-2 defeat to France, will return to the pitch on Thursday 27 February (13:30 CET) to face hosts Turkey. After that, a clash against Paraguay on Saturday 29 February (9:00 CET) awaits. The Under-15 National Team will depart for Belgrade on Wednesday 26 February and face Serbia in a friendly in Stara Pazova on Thursday. Finally, the Under-19 Futsal National Team will face Slovenia both today at 18:30 CET and tomorrow at 17:30 CET in Skofije.

While waiting for the precautionary system to change, the FIGC have also ordered the postponement of all courses scheduled at the Coverciano Coaching Centre as well as any activities at the Federal Territorial Centres in the affected areas. Courses for professional figures of Clubs in the A, B and C leagues have also been suspended. In other news from the Federal Council’s meeting, Lega di Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino was elected as FIGC Vice President after Gaetano Miccichè’s resignation. President Gravina then announced his intention to hold the Federal Elective Assembly in March 2021.