Serie A: Players prepare to resume training

Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has delayed announcing a restart to the Serie A season for fear of another spike in contagions.

Serie A.

Serie A clubs unanimously voted to finish the 2019-20 season.   -  Getty Images

Players from several Italian football clubs were on course to resume individual training as the Mediterranean country prepared to gradually roll back its coronavirus lockdown.

The Italian government has been feuding for weeks with individual regions about which activities will be allowed when the nation begins to emerge from an economically crippling lockdown on Monday.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is lifting Italians' stay-at-home orders and permitting restaurants to resume takeout service next week.

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But Conte has delayed announcing a restart to the Serie A season for fear of another spike in contagions for a disease that has officially killed 28,710 in Italy — second only to the United States. Conte is only allowing clubs to resume team training on May 18.

Several regions that have avoided the worst of the outbreak say they will use a loophole to individual players to start training on Monday.

The voluntary sessions will affect teams such as Napoli in the south and the central Emilia-Romagna region's Bologna.

Sassuolo was the first team to announce a resumption of training on Saturday, although social distancing rules must be complied with and there can be no mass gatherings.

And Roma followed suit, saying in a statement: "#ASRoma would like to thank the Lazio Regione for its sensitivity towards team sports.

"Next week, Roma players will undergo medical assessments and begin individual training sessions – observing safe distancing guidelines – at the Trigoria training centre."

Parma announced it will open its facilities next week for use by its squad members Rome's Lazio has also voiced plans to resume individual training at its sport centre.

But rules published by Sassuolo made clear that none of its coaches or other staff will be involved in the sessions.

Up to six players on an open pitch at a time will be allowed and they will be barred from using the changing rooms to minimise the threat of contagion.

Serie A clubs unanimously voted on Friday to finish the 2019-20 season — suspended since March 9 with Juventus leading Lazio by a point. But Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora noted this week the chances of a restart were “increasingly narrow”.

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