Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta made a statement after local authorities stopped Bologna from taking the pitch against Inter.
“First of all, we would like to reiterate everyone’s main objective: to safeguard the health of the players, the fans, and all those who are involved in football. Bologna were ready to play this match but had to follow the decision taken by the ASL. There are no specific guidelines for sport in these cases: we need a protocol which limits the remit of the ASL, otherwise these situations will be repeated.
“The issue concerning the protocol was addressed in the Lega Council, who will make an announcement through an official statement. We are faced with a very confusing situation and one which is hard to understand. There have been matches which have been postponed and others that will be played: this is because each ASL makes decisions autonomously. So you get cases like Bologna v Inter, which will not go ahead, and ones like Spezia v Hellas, which will be played despite the fact that the away side have 11 positives.
“We need guidelines, a discussion with the government, the CTS and the ministries. The fact that each ASL is autonomous in its decisions, which are taken to safeguard public health, means that there are discrepancies between the regions. I certainly hope for the introduction of a full vaccination requirement for all players. If all players were given a booster the spread of the virus and subsequent damage to public health would be severely limited. This would also mean that the league could carry on as normal, while right now we are faced with a scenario in which we can’t see how it will pan out. I hope all players get fully vaccinated.
“The fourth wave has caught us off guard; some leagues postponed their matches, others didn’t. The situation is difficult to assess. By postponing these matchdays the management of the situation would have been better, but then we would have run out of potential days on which to play games and have recovery days. One of the proposals on the table is to speak to FIFA and UEFA to request that national team commitments are postponed until June.”
Marotta then commented on Inter taking the field and playing a training match – “We took advantage of the opportunity to go on a trip and not completely waste our time.”
The COVID situation may cast further doubt over games scheduled in days to come. Let’s see what happens, as this may just be the beginning. Especially with lockdowns coming into effect again across Europe.
Obviously the safety of the players come first, so fingers crossed there is a scenario which benefits everyone.