Coronavirus: It's foolish to resume training, says Torino president

Any Serie A side planning on returning to training is acting purely in self-interest, says Torino chief Urbano Cairo.

Torino president Urbano Cairo: "Football is now more united, it is not time for cunning."   -  Getty Images

Torino president Urbano Cairo says it is "foolish" for Serie A clubs to be considering returning to training given the ever-changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport in Italy has been on lockdown since March 9 due to the spread of COVID-19, with most domestic leagues across the globe now suspended. There have been 4,825 deaths in Italy as a result of the virus, the highest tally of any nation. However, Cagliari and Napoli are among the clubs to say training will resume in the coming week, while Lazio is also said to be planning on returning.

Cairo expressed his frustration at those plans in an interview with Turin paper La Stampa.

"If I think back to the Lega meeting on March 10, there were still those who talked about training and returning to play," Cairo said.

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"Those speeches, to be heard now, seem [like they're] from another planet. I said, 'If we do not take drastic action, moving fans will also contribute to increasing the infection of others'. It seems foolish to me to argue a thesis on the basis of contagion data. Saying 'my region has no problems' with such a changing situation isn't a good explanation.

"Meanwhile, there are 16 clubs who don't want to think about [returning to training]."

Asked why he thinks some teams want to train, Cairo replied: "I guess for sporting interests. Perhaps to take advantage of the preparation."

Cairo also said it was "inevitable" clubs will have to ask players to take pay cuts during the crisis and believes the only way to complete the season is to have matches behind closed doors. "Football is now more united, it is not time for cunning. If the championship ever resumes, it will be played behind closed doors," he said.

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