Inter CEO Marotta calls for international football boycott amid Covid-19 crisis

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Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has called for a boycott of international football amid the Covid-19 crisis, with it his belief that the "situation is creating inequality".

A number of Serie A sides have reportedly seen players banned from travelling to meet up with their countries over the international break by local health authorities.

Positive coronavirus tests were recorded at Inter, Fiorentina, Sassuolo, Genoa, Roma and Lazio after the latest round of testing, with current regulations dictating that all players from the squads in question must self-isolate for the next 10 days to contain any potential spread.

Players who have been called up for international duty will not be allowed to join up with their national teams until the end of their quarantine period, which has come as another blow to Italy's preparations for fixtures against Estonia, Poland and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini was diagnosed with Covid-19 himself on Friday, meaning he is unable to take his usual place on the touchline for the first two games, but he could return for the Nations League clash with Bosnia pending a negative test early next week.

Mancini initially called up 41 players to his latest squad, but that number has been reduced to 25 with the virus currently doing the rounds in Serie A, and Marotta thinks that more should be done to protect players at club level as the pandemic continues.

“This situation is unfair. There is a grey area in the lack of centrality of this way of management. In this way, each local health authority becomes central to the management of the clubs,” the Inter chief told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I go further, if faced with a case that’s positive and this is the overall management of the situation, then I say let’s boycott the national teams.

“Yes, I mean it. This is where the credibility of the system is concerned. Football must go on, it suits everyone and then the government should give us a hand and set certain rules.

“If we need a moment to stop, I propose that we all stop for 15 days, set clear and equal regulations for everyone, and then we start again. This is bad for all of Italian football.”

Marotta also urged Italy's Minister for Sport to clarify a specific set of protocols for all clubs across the country, as he added: "This situation is creating inequality, so I demand the Minister for Sport Spadafora intervenes.

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“It alters the regularity of various tournaments. I find it absurd that the ASL (local health unit) in different regions act differently, from Rome to Milan to Florence.

“There are protocols, but there is also this grey area created by the lack of any central organisation. Every ASL then becomes crucial to the fortunes of the club.

“This makes my raising the alarm even more important, as I said a few days ago we had to protect players from injury on international duty.”