Former Juventus goalkeeper Stefano Tacconi believes "the coronavirus is just the flu" as he declared football should be allowed to resume with crowds.
Italy has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 to date with 222,000 confirmed cases and over 31,000 deaths.
Serie A has been suspended since March with clubs only now slowly returning to training with the competition hoping to resume on June 13 behind closed doors.
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Tacconi, who played over 250 games for Juventus, has claimed that the pandemic has been blown out of proportion and that football should restart with fans in attendance.
“For me, the coronavirus is just the flu,” Tacconi told Radio Sportiva via Football Italia .
“When they tell me in a conference that there have been thousands of deaths, tell me which ones were of coronavirus. You can’t tar them all with the same brush.
“I’d want to resume playing, even in front of fans.”
The former Italy international is no stranger to a controversial comment having stated in 2018 that he would have punched the referee had he been sent off like Gianluigi Buffon was in a Champions League quarter-final clash against Real Madrid.
Asked about his former club, Tacconi noted that Adrien Rabiot is far from necessary following recent claims he was on 'strike' , while also declaring Giorgio Chiellini's autobiography included "the usual rubbish".
“Rabiot’s a lucky boy. If he wants to leave, Juve wouldn’t struggle without him. I would’ve agreed to a pay cut," Tacconi said.
"As for Chiellini, it’s the usual rubbish. I said so many things too!"
After retiring from top-flight football in 1995, Tacconi made a number of attempts to run as a politician but failed to gain enough support. In 2008, the then 51-year-old agreed to pull the gloves back on for amateur side Arquata.
Serie A clubs recently selected June 13 as the date the league is set to return from its coronavirus suspension.
Juventus currently lead the Serie A table by just one point ahead of Lazio, with Inter in third place, nine points behind Juve.
The Bundesliga will be the first major European league to return from its coronavirus suspension, as the German top flight gets set to resume play on Saturday .