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Coronavirus: Serie A clubs ‘to return to training on May 4 with games starting at the end of month’

Italy are ready to announce the details for Phase Two of their coronavirus pandemic response that should see Serie A clubs return to training on May 4. 

The country has successfully ‘flattened the curve’ of the covid-19 virus after it became the most affected in Europe and Serie A became the first major league to postpone matches. High profile players such as Juventus‘ Paulo Dybala, Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi all tested positive for the virus as the country quickly went into a strict lockdown. 

Italy is now slowly seeing improvements as the daily death toll is lowering and hospitals and intensive care units are emptying out, meaning the country is ready for phase two.

Serie A clubs are preparing to return to training on May 4 as Italy enters phase two of lockdown

Serie A clubs are preparing to return to training on May 4 as Italy enters phase two of lockdown

Serie A clubs are preparing to return to training on May 4 as Italy enters phase two of lockdown

Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte is planning to begin phase 2 for coronavirus response

Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte is planning to begin phase 2 for coronavirus response

Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte is planning to begin phase 2 for coronavirus response

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a press conference for Sunday evening, where he will explain the details of Phase Two, which begins from the expiration of the last Government decree on May 4.

The public will be allowed limited movement within their region and football clubs can return to training individually. 

Training in a group will be permitted a couple weeks later on May 18 as the country expect the daily death toll to continue declining. 

This means clubs will have to work much longer throughout the day in staggered shifts to complete training or divide squads into small groups to abide the social distancing guidelines.

If the next phase is completed successfully, Serie A will resume playing fixtures from May 27 to June 2 and will aim to conclude the season in mid-July. 

Clubs will organise individual training for two weeks until May 18 when they can group up

Clubs will organise individual training for two weeks until May 18 when they can group up

Clubs will organise individual training for two weeks until May 18 when they can group up

As reported by Corriere dello Sport, Conte said: ‘To allow a gradual resumption of sports activities, training sessions for athletes, professionals and non-professionals recognized by CONI (Italy’s Olympic Committee) will be allowed from May 4, but only in compliance with the rules of social distancing, avoiding gatherings.

‘On May 18 we also plan to reopen the team training.’ 

Conte added that sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora would join experts in plotting a path for football to return though pointed out that any resumption of competitive matches would be determined further down the line.

‘(Spadafora) will work intensely with the experts of the scientific technical committee and with all the components of the football system to find a path that has already been defined in part for the resumption of individual training from May 4 and the resumption of team activity from May 18,’ he said.

If successful, Serie A will resume from May 27 to June 2 and finish in mid-July

If successful, Serie A will resume from May 27 to June 2 and finish in mid-July

If successful, Serie A will resume from May 27 to June 2 and finish in mid-July

‘Later we will evaluate if there are the conditions to allow the conclusion of the championships.’  

A total of 12 full rounds, plus four games to level the current standings, remain in the Serie A season with Juventus a point ahead of Lazio at the summit. 

Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus and quickly became the epicentre for the disease in Europe – with Serie A the first European league to become suspended at the start of March. To date there have been nearly 200,000 infections in the country with more than 26,000 deaths.

Two months after the first case of COVID-19 appeared in Italy there appears to be hope that the situation is improving and officials in the top flight have been working out ways in which the season could be completed.

Reports claim that all 20 teams have unanimously vowed to finish the campaign but will need the green light for the government to do so, with games increasingly likely to be played behind closed doors if an agreement is reached. 

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