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Spadafora Backs Players' Association Calling to Suspend Serie A amid Coronavirus

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

PARMA, ITALY - MARCH 08: People stand on the pitch wearing face masks during the Serie A match between Parma Calcio and SPAL at Stadio Ennio Tardini on March 8, 2020 in Parma, Italy. The match was delayed due to concerns over the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Vincenzo Spadafora, the minister for sport in Italy, has backed the call of the Players’ Association to suspend the Serie A season. 

Sunday's clash in the Italian top flight between Parma and SPAL was delayed a minute before the game was due to kick off, with officials informing the players that an immediate stop to the campaign was being pondered.

Per Football Italia, Spadafora issued a statement saying he thinks the season should be halted:

"I share the views of Damiano Tommasi, President of the Italian Players’ Association, and I unite with his call to suspend the football league.

"It makes no sense at this moment, while we ask our citizens for enormous sacrifices to prevent the spread of the contagion, to risk the health of players, referees, coaches, fans who will certainly gather to see games, just to protect the interests that revolve around the sport.

"Other Federations have wisely decided to suspend football for the next few days. I think it is the duty of the FIGC President Gabriele Gravina to reflect again, without waiting for the first case of a Serie A player infected, before taking on this very serious responsibility."

Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano provided more information surrounding the bizarre scenes at Parma: 

The match eventually began.

Premier Sports shared the scenes from the match at the Ennio Tardini Stadium: 

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Serie A: Parma and Spal were going to play right now (h12.30). The Minister of Sport has asked the Italian Federation to stop Serie A with IMMEDIATE effect because of the Coronavirus emergency. Players are back in the dressing rooms and waiting. 🔴 #SerieA #Covid19

It was confirmed this week that sporting events in Italy will be played behind closed doors until April 3 as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

Per BBC, around 16 million people in northern Italy have been placed in quarantine as the coronavirus continues to spread. The new restriction measures are set to affect around a quarter of the population.

On Saturday, it was confirmed there were 5,883 cases of the virus in Italy.

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