Despite about 10% of players in the Italian league reported as having contracted COVID-19, full slates of matches involving all 20 clubs are scheduled to be played. Considering the news surrounding the new omicron variant, and players already infected, this move seems very risky indeed, as play resumes. As reported by the AP:
Even former Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, now back with Parma in Serie B, has tested positive
ROME (AP) — One out of every 10 players in Series A is positive with the coronavirus as the Italian league prepares to resume after a two-week break for the holidays.
Still, despite about 60 players reported as having contracted COVID-19, full slates of 10 matches involving all 20 clubs are scheduled to be played both Thursday and Sunday.
Last-place Salernitana is the hardest hit with nine of its players having COVID-19, while clubs like Inter Milan (Edin Dzeko), Napoli (Victor Osimhen) and Juventus (Giorgio Chiellini) are each missing leading players because of the virus.
Even former Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, now back with Parma in Serie B, has tested positive.
Inter and Juventus had reportedly sought to postpone the Italian Super Cup scheduled for next week at the San Siro in Milan, but the Italian league decided to keep the game in place.
Stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to 50% following a government decree aimed at combatting the latest outbreak and spectators must now wear FFP2 masks.
There is still a question about whether the decree requires all Serie A players to be vaccinated but that debate could end if the government requires all workers in the country to be vaccinated by Feb. 1.
While nearly all Serie A players have been vaccinated — about 98% — nearly 30 players have reportedly been resisting the vaccine.
Players on foreign clubs traveling to play Italian teams would likely be exempt from the vaccination requirement.
By ANDREW DAMPF
Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf