Italy considers new curbs on Serie A – sources

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ROME (Reuters) – Italian authorities are considering fresh curbs on the top-flight Serie A soccer league, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday, amid growing worries over a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi and soccer federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina discussed the issue on Friday, one of the sources said. Options on the table include playing behind closed doors or even a temporary suspension of the league.

The sources added that the government has invited the soccer authorities to make an autonomous decision, without ruling out a direct intervention.

On Thursday, daily coronavirus cases hit a fresh record of 219,441 in Italy amid rising hospitalisations. Infections were sharply down on Friday reflecting a far lower number of tests.

Late in December, the Italian government cut capacity for open-air sports events from 75% to 50% and recently several matches have not been played due to growing infections among players.

In a statement issued after an assembly held in the afternoon, Serie A clubs said they were “firmly confident” that it would be possible to carry on with the league.

A meeting involving ministers and sports authorities on the issue is expected to take place next week.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Angelo Amante; Editing by Ken Ferris

Reuters

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