Serie A ‘may not finish until October as doctor details steps to return’

Serie A might not finish until October, the head of the Italian FA has admitted.

And the country's top sport doctor has insisted there can be no return to action until players are tested – and only after more urgent cases.

Italy hopes to have passed the peak of the pandemic but Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday extended the country-wide lockdown until at least April 13 to place further doubts on the hopes of re-starting football next month.

And FIGC president Gabriele Gravina told Rai Sport: “The only proper way to handle such a serious emergency is to fulfil the 2019-2020 competitions this year, in any way we can.

“We’re working on a whole series of hypotheses to manage this situation as best we can.

"A possible date to resume the season is May 17 but we know, and I reiterate, that it is only a possibility.

“Serie A until September-October is also a possibility. It is a way to avoid compromising not only the 2019-20 season but also the 20-21 season.”

Any return to action – even behind closed doors – has many complications.

Players from Juventus, Sampdoria and Fiorentina have tested positive to COVID-19 and will need proper health screening before resuming training.

And quarantine and tests will have to be given to players who have returned to their home countries.

But Dr Maurizio Casasco, president of the Italian sports doctors' association, warned: “Let's be clear that testing will have to have priority for those on the front line like doctors and those people most at risk. Only then sports people.

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