4 Serie A games won't be played amid COVID concerns

AP , Thursday 6 Jan 2022

At least four of the 10 Serie A matches scheduled for Thursday won't be played after local health authorities ordered teams into quarantine amid rising coronavirus cases.

FILE - Spectators sit in the stands social distancing for COVID-19 security, prior to the Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Genoa, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Aug. 21, 2021. AP

The matches affected so far are: Bologna vs. Inter Milan, Atalanta vs. Torino, Fiorentina vs. Udinese and Salernitana vs. Venezia.

The quarantine orders came from authorities in Bologna, Turin, Udine and Salerno.

Bologna has eight players who have tested positive for COVID-19; Torino has six players positive plus two staff members; Udinese has seven players positive plus two staff members and Salernitana has nine players positive plus two staff members.

Napoli's match at Juventus is still scheduled to go ahead despite Napoli reporting seven players positive and three staff members _ including coach Luciano Spalletti.

In all, more than 70 players in the league are positive.

League officials met late Wednesday and decided that all of the games should still be played. So none of the games have been officially postponed. That means that teams like Inter, Atalanta, Fiorentina and Venezia could still show up for matches that they know won't be played. Then authorities will likely go through a lengthy legal process to decide on the status of the affected games and if they should be postponed to a later date.

Thursday's matches mark the return of Serie A after a two-week break. Another full slate of 10 matches is scheduled for Sunday.

Thursday is a national holiday in Italy, the Epiphany.

Stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to 50% following a government decree aimed at combatting the latest outbreak, and spectators must now wear FFP2 masks.

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