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Serie A clubs allowed to resume training on Monday

Italian football teams have been given permission from the government to resume training from Monday.

The government had initially declared that as of May 4 citizens can exercise in parks and athletes involved in individual sport can begin training again as they begin lifting lockdown restrictions.

Team sports were initially required to wait a further two weeks before training centres would open again, but regions in Italy such as Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio and Sardinia have given the go-ahead for athletes to return on May 4.

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Many more regions were set to follow that example, prompting minister of sports Vincenzo Spadafora to write to the scientific committee urging them to consider allowing training centres for team sports to open as well. The Italian government has accepted that it would be unfair to prevent other athletes from training and agreed to give permission.

Serie A clubs will now be allowed to return to individual training until May 17, after which group practice are expected to resume.

Sassulo and Roma had already confirmed they will start individual training sessions and medical assessments next week after their regions lifted restrictions.

The Italian top-flight looks likely to resume the 2019-20 campaign after all 20 clubs voted in favour of doing so whenever possible at an emergency meeting on Friday, though it is dependent on government approval.

While Belgium, Netherland and France have all cancelled the rest of the campaign, the leagues in Italy, England, Germany and Spain are exploring the possibility of returning soon.

The president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, has warned against ending the season prematurely, insisting it would kill the sport in the country.

"As long as I'm president of the FIGC, I'll never sign off stopping the season because that would be the death of Italian football," Gravina said this week in a virtual meeting with Serie B team Ascoli.

"I'm protecting the interests of everyone so, I repeat, I refuse to sign off a total shutdown, unless there are objective conditions relating to the health of everyone involved, but someone has to tell me clearly and stop me from moving forward."