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Torino boss worries about injuries when Serie A restarts

May 22, 2020 11:19 IST

Urbano Cairo said that, like the other 19 Serie A clubs, Torino had voted in favour of restarting but that he had some doubts, such as playing behind closed doors.

IMAGE: Urbano Cairo said that, like the other 19 Serie A clubs, Torino had voted in favour of restarting but that he had some doubts, such as playing behind closed doors. Photograph: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

The president of Serie A club Torino, Urbano Cairo, is worried that players will be exposed to injury if the league restarts next month as expected.

Cairo highlighted that full training had not yet started at most clubs, even though everything was pointing to a restart on June 13 or June 20, depending on the Italian government's final decision which will be made on May 28.

"It looks like we're off again," he told state broadcaster Rai in a radio interview.

"The real issue is that it will be very difficult for the players to get back on track... after so many months at home, they are at risk of injury.

 

"In fact, they're going slowly at the moment because they're afraid of getting hurt. The restart is quite complicated, not least because football is a contact sport."

Cairo said that, like the other 19 Serie A clubs, Torino had voted in favour of restarting but that he had some doubts, such as playing behind closed doors.

"As already happened in Germany, the championship in Italy will also restart without an audience. And behind closed doors it's not a great show," he added.

Cairo was also unhappy with the Italian football federation (FIGC) decision that Serie A should finish by Aug 20 and the new season should start on Sept. 1.

"Let's remember that the players should be given two or three weeks' holiday, plus they'll need another month for physical preparation. This means that if we finish on 20 August, we'll start again on 20 October," he said.

The government said on Tuesday that full group training could start this week but most clubs said Thursday they had not yet received the official medical protocol and were still training either individually or in small groups.

"We will restart training in larger groups in the new few days," said Serie A leaders Juventus, adding that the entire squad, including backup staff, had returned negative tests.

Italy's heritage authority allows San Siro demolition

Italy's heritage authority raised no objections to tearing down Milan's 1920s-era San Siro arena, a document seen by Reuters showed, removing a major obstacle to the city's top-flight soccer clubs plans to replace it with a new stadium.

Serie A clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, respectively owned by US fund Elliott and Chinese electronic retailer Suning, last year filed a request to jointly build a new 60,000-seater stadium in the San Siro area.

The new stadium is the key element in a wider 1.2 billion euro ($1.31 billion) real estate plan for the district, which includes demolishing almost all of the historic San Siro arena, home ground of both the city's top-flight clubs.

Although approval from heritage authorities is not the final decision, it is an important step towards implementing the plan.

According to an opinion from the authority to the Milan municipality which owns the site, the arena does not have any architectural significance that would prevent its demolition. Following several redevelopments, only a small remnant of the oldest part of the stadium, built in 1926, is left.

The clubs and the municipality have been in talks for months to try to find a compromise over plans to replace the nearly century-old arena, sometimes dubbed "La Scala del Calcio" - a reference to Milan's famous opera house.

City representatives, including Milan's mayor Giuseppe Sala, had repeatedly questioned plans to tear down San Siro and the clubs have modified initial projects which would have seen the entire stadium demolished.

Plans under discussion include tearing down most of the old arena but keeping part of it as a kind of city landmark around which the clubs would build new sport facilities available to the public.

 

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