Serie A: the protocol to return to the field


To save the championship, and start again with the matches in June, the FIGC and the Serie A League include a flexibility criterion in the protocol: the procedures to be adopted if a player or staff member proves to be positive will be decided in relation to the evolution of contagion. So, if at the time of the “new positivity” the general health picture in Italy will be very worrying, more drastic measures will be taken (such as the quarantine for the entire team group, which the document does not mention). If, on the other hand, the trend of the contagions in Italy will be under control, it is easy to imagine the adoption of a “German” model with only the infected person (be it a footballer or a staff member) placed in quarantine and the group checked with frequent swabs.

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Flexible management of swabs and positivity

Textually, the protocol that Lega and Figc have sent to the government’s Scientific Technical Committee provides: “As for the more strictly medical aspects (continuation of the checks to be carried out by the” Team Group “during the period of resumption of competitions and procedures to be adopted in case of new positivity) the document refers to what is currently already foreseen in the “training protocol”, postponing any desirable update that may occur from today to the date that will be set for the resumption of competitive activities, in relation to epidemiological evolution and scientific acquisitions, for example on the type and frequency of available diagnostic tests “. If the virus slows down its run to contagion, therefore, even tampons could be performed in smaller numbers, as asked by the president of Lazio, Claudio Lotito, convinced that too frequent mucosal withdrawals can physically harm the players.


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The management of the stadium and away matches

For the rest, the 40 pages of protocol on “planning, organization and management of professional football competitions in closed door mode” follow the indications already contained in the drafts circulated in recent days. The maximum number of subjects admitted to the stadium on match days (including teams) will be 300. All will be subjected to temperature measurement and will have to sign a self-certification in which they declare that they have not recently had symptoms from Covid 19. Outside of the playing field, it will be mandatory for anyone to wear masks. Bus transfers will be organized with two means for each team, to guarantee the distance. The post-match interviews made only through videos and disposable earphones, the absolute ban on handshakes, the exit from the locker rooms at different times for the two teams and the ban on the presence of children on the pitch as mascots. Team photos are also prohibited, as they provide for avoidable proximity of the players to each other.

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Arbitration system and anti-Covid test

The host club will protect the health of the referees, who will have to go to the stadium with their own means: from sanitized changing rooms, to sealed single-dose meals. The number of operators in the Var room will be reduced to two. The communication system via microphones and headphones between the race director and his assistants will be further developed. Great attention and space (about ten pages) is given to the rules which the operators of the television broadcasters will have to follow. Of the more strictly sanitary aspects (execution of tests and quarantine disciplines in case of coronavirus positive people) it has been said: the document specifies that the procedures “may undergo variations”. Not only on the basis of the evolution of the general epidemiological framework, but also “of the appropriate indications of the CTS”. As far as tests are concerned, the constraint remains that the supply of diagnostic kits by companies “must not have the slightest impact on the availability of reagents, to be absolutely dedicated to the health needs of the country”.

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Gel, masks and time table of access to the plants

The last part of the document, in a tight list, puts in line all the small rules dictated by common sense that the 300 admitted to the stadium will have to follow. In particular, the team group. It is forbidden, for example, to linger for a long time in the locker rooms, such as to linger in “private conversations” involving the prolonged presence of several people in confined spaces. The whirlpools will be emptied, players will not be allowed to touch the lift buttons and frequent hand sanitization is recommended. Finally, a meticulous “hourly schedule” has been arranged so that at all times (from the opening of the stadium to the closure of the plant with the finished game) only the essential number of people is always present. The protocol, being studied by the government’s Scientific Technical Committee, is awaiting approval, with or without modification, in the coming days. “If the country starts again, football will start again,” said the minister for sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, with optimism. Two possible dates for the resumption of the matches: 13 or 20 June.

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