April 25, 2020 / 12:12 PM / a month ago

Soccer-Serie A clubs to donate COVID-19 test kits - Corriere dello Sport

ROME, April 25 (Reuters) - Clubs in Italy’s Serie A will donate five COVID-19 test kits for every one they use once they start training for a possible resumption of the season, a report in the Corriere dello Sport newspaper said on Saturday.

The report said the suggestion was part of proposals drawn up by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and sent to the government, which will have the final say on whether clubs can start training again.

The move could help answer any criticism that soccer could be taking away much-needed resources such as testing kits if it is allowed to re-start.

The FIGC, whose president is Gabriele Gravina, is hoping clubs can resume training in May, although sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Wednesday he was still not ready to approve a date.

The FIGC has already published some details of its proposal. It says players and staff at each club - or around 40 to 50 people - should be tested and then isolated in a training camp to begin their preparations.

For the first week, players would have to train individually, respecting social distancing guidelines. If, after that, there are no positive cases, teams can start normal training.

In an interview with the same newspaper, a leading Italian virologist said it would not be necessary to stop the whole competition if a player tested positive.

Francesco Vaia, of the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, said the re-opening of the country, including football, needed a combination of “common sense and science which should go hand-in-hand”.

“We don’t have to stop everything if a player tests positive,” Vaia said. “The answer is to treat football in the same way as the healthcare workers. If I find a healthcare worker who tests positive, I don’t suspend everyone from work.

“We put those who came into contact with him under observation with blood tests and swabs.” (Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by David Holmes)

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