Resuming Italian Serie A is a “Crazy decision”

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It is no longer news that the government of Italy has given the Italian Serie A the go-ahead to restart the 2019-2020 season over two months after halting it due to the coronavirus pandemic. The official restart date for the season is now June 20 as against the 13 June 16 clubs out of 20 voted for.

As most fans and stakeholders who have been looking forward to such an interesting distraction from the coronavirus pandemic which has hit Italy very hard, some stakeholders of the league are not excited about the restart. One of such people who are not happy for the restart is Massimo Cellino, the owner of the relegation bound Italian Serie A side, Brescia. He described resuming the 2019-2020 season in Italy as a “crazy decision”.

Massimo didn’t call the decision as a crazy decision due to the pandemic, he called it a crazy decision because of other circumstances aside from the pandemic.

Recall that Italy used to be the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe. But now, the country is gradually winning the won against the virus. As at last check, out of 231,732 confirmed cases, 33,142 coronavirus related deaths have been recorded. On the good side, 150,604 people have fully recovered from the virus. Hence, Italy is left with 47,986 confirmed cases.

According to Worldometer, out of the 47,986 active cases, 47,497 cases which are 99% of the cases are in mild condition, while 489 cases which are 1% of the active cases are in critical condition.

But that is not the concern of Brescia’s owner, he is most concern about the wellbeing of the players who would be used to execute the remaining round of games if the season restarts on June 20.

Massimo Cellino argued that June is a period in Italy when the weather is not too friendly for a football match. He stressed that playing three games in a week has even made it more dangerous for the wellbeing of the players.

“It’s too much for the players,” he told BBC. “We stopped [training] for two months. It is dangerous to restart it playing three games a week. So I’m worried about injuries and the hot weather which is going to be terrible in Italy more than Germany.”

Udinese's William Troost-Ekong defending against Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during an Italian Serie A match
Udinese’s William Troost-Ekong defending against Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo during an Italian Serie A match

The summer starts in Italy in June. The average temperature during that period is 24°C. However, the hottest periods in the country are the following two months – July and August, where the daily average temperature is between 25°C to 31°C. There is just 31mm of precipitation in July, with most coming in the form of a quick thunderstorm.

In other seasons where there are no pandemics, Italian Serie A seasons in Italy are always over before the end of June where the weather starts getting hotter. But now, the players will have to bathe in the sun for the remaining round of matches.

“As long as we can do it in the right way without too many risks and setting the right example for the country, I think it’s a good thing to be doing”, Udinese and Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong said.