Former Juventus player Claudio Marchisio encourages European states to resume football again, as soon as possible, even at the risk of the coronavirus infection spreading and worsening the global health crisis.
His reasoning is that too many people depend on the sport and ‘no danger is unlikely.’
“At this moment, football is trapped in the claws of this situation just the same as any other profession,” Marchisio told. “However, we mustn’t forget football is one of the top 10 industries in this country, with a very important financial contribution and which involves millions of people.”
A decision is anticipated within the next 24 hours as to whether the FIGC medical protocol is approved by the Government, which would open up to contact training and possibly sports.
He wants to bring back football fully, starting with restarting Serie A soon (in the midst of the pandemic):
“I hope we can get back to playing soon, because I am an optimist, I love football and honestly miss it.
“I read that there is debate over the risk of contagion, but I wouldn’t want people to wait for there to be zero risk, because that doesn’t exist in a contact sport like football.
“We must try to structure everything to lower the risk as much as possible, but if we wait for it to be zero, we’ll never play again.”
Continued Marchisio, “Football is not just the elite of millionaire players who appear on front pages and rule social media. Even just the Serie B and Serie C players, who have a very different financial outlook, then all the less visible workers who depend on the sport for the salary that keeps their family going, like kit staff, physiotherapists, security and the media.”
At first, the Players’ Association had been reluctant to get back to work, but they are now eager to get the protocol finalized.
Nevertheless, the Government and, in particular, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora continue to push for the end of the 2019-20 season, following the example of the Ligue 1.
To this, Marchisio replied: “It’d be a decision to be respected, but then the State would also have to take responsibility and ensure the industry doesn’t go under. I am worried, as a businessman with three restaurants, that the Government decrees so far have largely been a lot of words and very little action.”
He finished, “Many football clubs would go bankrupt if they stopped playing, losing jobs not just of the players, but of everyone who makes this industry work from behind the scenes.”