Sports News

Italian football federation hopes to allow fans in stadiums in July

ROME (Reuters) - The head of Italy’s football federation (FIGC) hopes that stadiums can be opened to at least some fans next month if the rate of coronavirus infections continues to drop in the country.

The Italian season restarted after a three-month hiatus on Friday with a Coppa Italia semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan, while Napoli were hosting Inter Milan in the other tie later on Saturday with the final on Wednesday. Serie A will then restart on June 20.

At present, all matches are being played without spectators.

“Yesterday, we took the last step towards dispelling any doubts about the completion of the championships,” FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said in an interview with Radio Deejay on Saturday.

“I’m happy but there is still one piece missing, which is the participation of the fans and I hope they can return very quickly. I hope it will be the beginning of July -- the first week or mid-July at the latest,”

“This will mean that our country has thrown off those final restrictions and that we’ve come out of this particularly dark moment for our country.”

Serbia is already permitting fans to watch matches and Poland will allow stadiums to be filled up to 25% capacity from June 19.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar