People wanting Serie A cancellation 'don't like football or Italians' - FIGC president wants league to restart despite coronavirus worries

Alex Sandro Juventus Serie A 02252017
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The governing body's chief hit out at those calling for the cancellation of the campaign, which has been postponed since last month due to Covid-19.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina claimed those opposed to the resumption of the 2019-20 Serie A season "don't like football or Italians".

Serie A was suspended indefinitely in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the FIGC has already stated that the campaign will not resume until the health and safety of all concerned can be guaranteed.

Italy's minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora is hoping to confirm a May 4 date for the return to Serie A training as soon as possible, with the current restrictions on movement and outdoor activities set to end on May 3.

Defending champions Juventus were a point clear of Lazio through 26 games at the time of postponement and Gravina hit out at those calling for the cancellation of the season.

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"I share the minister Spadafora's hope of resuming on May 4, with all due caution and guarantees," Gravina told Rai Radio.

"It's a complex moment for our country, economy and football, which is one of the most important industries. With a sense of responsibility, availability and common sense, we'll find the right way.

"Those proposing to invoke the cancellation of the season don't like football or Italians and want to take away the hope of future and restarting football. I’ll hold out until the end.

"We've developed a strict and careful but flexible health protocol, which we'll deliver to ministers Spadafora and Speranza tomorrow [Saturday].

"It'll take three weeks of safety measures so we can start again in late May-early June. There will be a period of controls to ensure the negativity of all those attending the events If everyone tests negative, there won't be any problems of distancing or the virus spreading.

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"As for restarting with the Coppa Italia semi-finals, this programme concerns just Serie A. We're still waiting for the calendar. I hope everyone is able to play in their own stadiums. If it's not possible then we'll look at alternative solutions."

There have been more than 2,240,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, with over 154,120 deaths.

In Italy, at least 22,700 people have died from coronavirus, while more than 172,400 cases have been recorded.