Italian Serie A Genoa match against Torino postponed after virus sweeps squad

Italian Serie A Genoa match against Torino postponed after virus sweeps squad
Saturday's Genoa-Torino match was set to be one of the first to allow fans back into the stadium. Photo: AFP
Genoa's match against Torino on Saturday has been postponed after 15 team and staff members at the Ligurian club tested positive for coronavirus, the Lega Serie A confirmed on Thursday.
The third-round match is the first in Serie A to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic after the championship started on September 19th.
 
And the postponement comes just days after the Italian government allowed stadiums to open to a limited number of fans.
 
Genoa had demanded that the match be pushed back as the squad were unable to train because they are all self-isolating at home.
 
 
And a meeting of the Extraordinary Council of the Lega Serie A confirmed the application of UEFA rules whereby a match can only take place as long as a
side have 13 healthy players, including a goalkeeper.
 
Goalkeeper Mattia Perin and midfielder Lasse Schoene missed Genoa's 6-0 Serie A defeat at Napoli on Sunday after contracting Covid-19, and 13 others
returned positive tests since the game.
 
The north-western port side published on Wednesday a list of 11 players and four staff members who had contracted the virus.
 
Torino president Urbano Cairo hit out at Italian football chiefs' slowness in deciding on how to proceed.
 
“The important thing is that a rule had to be established, like UEFA did some time ago by establishing when to play and when not to play,” Cairo told
Sky Sports Italia.
 
“La Liga for example adopted that rule and did it long ago. We are very late and this is a shame.
 
“I think it should have been done earlier because it was easy to predict that situations of this type could occur in autumn.
 
'Limit the spread'
 
Italian football federation president (FIGC) Gabriele Gravina insisted they had “always acted to protect health and will continue to do so”.
 
“Despite what has happened in recent days, the attention and responsibility put in place by the FIGC, the Leagues, the clubs and the referees have confirmed the seriousness of the world of football as a whole,” Gravina said.
 
There are also concerns about Napoli players, with eight of Genoa's 11 positive players taking to the field in Naples.
 
Napoli are due to play champions Juventus in Turin on Sunday.
 
A first round of swabs for the Napoli team came back negative, with a second round of testing set for Thursday.
 
In Italy, the first European country hit by the coronavirus, Serie A was suspended from early March, returning in mid-June to conclude the
championships.
 
The new season got underway with a maximum of 1,000 spectators allowed into stadiums.
 
Other teams have had individual cases with AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic in quarantine after testing positive last week, leading to a debate over
whether the championship should be suspended.
 
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora insisted, however, “the conditions to stop the season have not been met”.
 
 
 

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