Serie A Had Refused To Suspend Inter Milan Vs Bologna Serie A Match Despite Bologna Being In Quarantine

Rising COVID-19 cases in Bologna’s squad led the local health authority (ASL) to place the entire team into quarantine for 7-10 days from Wednesday, meaning they could not play against Inter in a match scheduled for Thursday.

With Serie A refusing to cancel matches, Inter were forced to turn up and train before the game, as normal, with officials even tasked with inspecting the pitch despite there being no sign of any Bologna players.

Serie A rules state that Inter is set to be awarded a 3-0 victory pending any appeal by Bologna.

However, Inter director Beppe Marotta, who was in attendance in Bologna, said the system was not working.

“The situation is chaotic,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Games have been postponed by local health authorities who decided independently.

“Bologna were ready to play and they suffered the situation from ASL which have taken this decision to protect everyone’s health, but clarity is missing. I would limit the ASL’s power, otherwise, we’ll always face similar situations in the future.”

Following another Serie A meeting on Thursday, the league released a statement saying a new protocol would be put in place whereby teams must fulfil their fixtures if they have at least 13 fit players born before December 31, 2003.

The club that does not show up for a match will be deducted one point, while the team that attends will be awarded a 3-0 victory.

Juventus was initially awarded a 3-0 win after similar scenes last season against Napoli.

Napoli, however, successfully appealed the decision to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Guarantee Board and the match was played on a different date.

Four games did not take place on Thursday. Bottom side Salernitana were due to face Venezia but their local health authority forced the squad into a five-day quarantine.

Udinese and Torino had also been placed in isolation and blocked from travelling to Fiorentina and Atalanta respectively.

Serie A later released a further statement in response to the various health authorities’ actions.

“The hope is that the ASL no longer intervene with confused and inconsistent measures which, at the moment, are creating serious damage to the Italian sports system,” it read.

“It is hoped the next meeting announced by the government will finally be able, once and for all, to identify coordination tools of the territorial ASLs and guarantee the correct conduct of the Serie A championship by ensuring a uniform procedure for managing positive situations in the teams.”

Valentina Vezzali, Italy’s sport undersecretary, said on Thursday she wanted to create a control room that enabled “uniform behaviour of the local health authorities through a national coordination”.

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