Inter director says Series A runs the risk of not ending due to coronavirus
MILAN: The A series the season runs the risk of not finishing if more matches are postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Inter de Milan Executive Director Giuseppe Marotta He said Sunday.
Inter match in Juventus , which was to have been played later on Sunday, was one of five which were postponed by A series on Saturday. The games, all in regions where sporting events have been banned by the government, had been due to be played behind closed doors.
Italy has registered more than 1,100 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the contagion came to light in wealthy northern regions on Feb. 20 and at least 29 people have died.
Inter match in home to Sampdoria was one of four which were postponed last Sunday and Marotta said a crowded fixture list meant they were running out of dates to restage the games.
If more games are canceled, yes, we run that risk, Marotta told Gazzetta dello Sport when asked if the championship might not end.
He added that, because some games had been postponed and others not, the balance of the championship has been altered. It is a distorted tournament. Just think about injuries and suspensions. And there is a psychological aspect when looking at the classification.
Third-placed Inter's two postponements have caused them to drop eight points behind leaders Lazio who have played and won two games during the same period. Lazio's matches - away to Genoa last Sunday and at home to Bologna on Saturday - were in regions unaffected by coronavirus.
I'm worried about Inter's match against Sassuolo next Sunday, Marotta added. How do we deal with that? We cannot play behind closed doors because it would be absurd to use a measure one week that we did not use the previous week ... I cannot see a solution.
A series president Paolo Dal Pino told the ANSA news agency that "Marotta represents the needs of Inter, I protect the general interests of the entire A series which unfortunately suffers daily conflicts of interest linked to each team.
I have to promote the Italian league and its image in the world; broadcasting matches in empty stadiums would have been a bad business card for the country.
The A series season is scheduled to run until May 24, with Euro 2020 due to start on June 12.