COVID-19: Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta wants players to boycott their national teams

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The Chief Executive Officer of Inter Milan Giuseppe Marotta has urged players to boycott their national teams amid the coronavirus pandemic. The football administrator argued that it is not safe for players to be allowed to leave their clubs to travel to their various countries for international football competitions.

Giuseppe Marotta stressed that players are not being protected enough against the coronavirus which is still ravaging the world. He also pointed out that adding international matches to the already congested club schedules for players is not safe for the players’ wellbeing.

Currently, at Italian Serie A, players in some Serie A clubs are not allowed to leave Italy to join up with their national teams ahead of the international break due to the fear of the coronavirus pandemic. The clubs affected by the restriction include Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Sassuolo, Genoa, Roma, and Lazio.

Several confirmed coronavirus cases were discovered in the clubs during the latest round of tests carried out in the league. Hence, local health authorities in the clubs’ cities directed all the players and coaching crews of the affected clubs to self-isolate for 10 days to prevent the possibility of escalating the spread of the virus.

Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta believes that the restriction was a form of inequality against the affected clubs. He added that players from other clubs should boycott their national teams too and the restriction should be for all the clubs instead of for some selected clubs.

He urged that there should be a central health unit that should manage coronavirus issues in the league rather than leaving it for local health authorities in clubs’ host cities.

The Chief Executive Officer of Inter Milan Giuseppe Marotta
The Chief Executive Officer of Inter Milan Giuseppe Marotta

“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,” Marotta told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“I go further, if faced with a positive case 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.

“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.

“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.”

Just like Inter Milan that has a couple of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the head coach of Italy national team Roberto Mancini is also a carrier of the virus.

This means that the coach will not be on the sideline when the country plays against Estonia in an international friendly on Wednesday, November 11. He will not also be available for Italy against Poland on November 15 and Bosnia on November 18 in the UEFA Nations League.