As of right now, Serie A games are set to return to our lives in early April. At least that is when the decree from the Italian government ends and all sporting events in one of the world’s hardest-hit countries in this coronavirus pandemic are scheduled to resume.
Reality, however, tells us that is an extremely unlikely occurrence.
That’s because the situation in Italy hasn’t gotten any better as we are now in the middle of March. Eleven Serie A players in total — the first, of course, being Daniele Rugani — have tested positive for coronavirus. And as time goes on, the count of those infected and the number of those who have died only continues to rise. (The death toll in Italy is now over 1,800 as of Sunday night.)
It’s because of all this that the president of the Italian Footballers’ Federation, Damiano Tomasi, deemed it “impossible” that games will resume once the current decree comes to an end on April 3.
“It’s clearly impossible to start playing at the beginning of April. If all goes well, we can resume in May or June. When we talk about football, people think we are only ensuring the safety of players, but there’s a whole world behind the team. The first to be contaminated were in Serie C with Pianese, and their kit man is still in intensive care. Juventus have 100 people under quarantine.
“These are people who travel all around Italy and Europe, meeting many, many people during the course of their work. The problem is not just Italian, but European, so UEFA have to behave like the European Union.”
(Source: Football Italia)
The massive caveat is, of course this: “If all goes well ...”
Italy is still on lockdown. As we know, Juventus players and staff are still in quarantine for more than a week. The rest of the sporting world is shut down and when the games will resume this season — if they get back up and running — is pretty much anybody’s guess at this point.
As of this writing, the Center for Disease Control here in the United States has recommended that group gatherings over 50 people be suspended or canceled for at least the next eight weeks. The situation here in the U.S. is still behind what Italy is currently dealing with, but is obviously going to get worse before it gets better. How much European sports leagues do like-minded things remans to be seen, but I’m pretty certain at this point that hoping Serie A resumes the first weekend of April is about as unlikely as any possible return date thrown out there the last week or so.
Resuming play in May or June, if the situation in Italy somehow gets better in these next few weeks, will see a truncated schedule, but games actually played again. That is if the powers that be actually think completion of the now-suspended season is plausible and something that’s actually realistic. (Which, right now, is a complete uncertainty.)
Basically, do as Italians are doing now: #RESTIAMOACASA, and we’ll see Serie A at whatever point is best when it comes to the health of the players and Italy as a whole.