Champion Inter Milan’s trip to Bologna was among four Serie A games on Thursday that were in doubt amid rising COVID-19 cases.

A number of positive cases have forced the local health authority (ASL) for several clubs to intervene and place them into quarantine, almost certainly preventing some of Thursday’s games - the first round since the Serie A winter break - from going ahead.

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Unlike other leagues around Europe, Serie A does not intervene to postpone matches if COVID-19 cases get too high, but the local ASL in Bologna has placed the team into quarantine after eight positive test results. Bottom side Salernitana, which has nine positive players, was due face Venezia on Thursday, but its local health authority forced the squad into a five-day quarantine, while Udinese and Torino have been placed in isolation and blocked from travelling to Fiorentina and Atalanta respectively.

Unmoved

The Serie A board remains unmoved and refused to postpone any game in an emergency meeting on Wednesday.

“We will go on with the program as scheduled without any postponement,” the league told Reuters in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

“We are not able to decide which games to postpone and which ones to play. The situation is hard for every team, but we must go ahead.”

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The league’s position on games adds to the confusion over what will take place of Thursday.

In December, Udinese’s clash with Salernitana descended into chaos after the local health authority banned the recently-promoted side from travelling.

Udinese players showed up as the game was not postponed by the league’s governing body. The club named a starting line-up but remained in the dressing room, and after 45 minutes had passed from the scheduled kick-off time, the game was abandoned.

As it stands, without the league postponing any fixtures, teams not placed into quarantine must still attend their matches, even though there is no opposition to face.

As the new Omicron variant spreads throughout the country - Italy reported a record 170,844 coronavirus cases on Tuesday - stadium capacities have been reduced from 75 percent to a maximum 50 percent to fight rising infections.