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Serie A teams set to defy govt and return to training

By The Assam Tribune

MILAN, May 2: Italy�s 20 Serie A clubs have reiterated their unanimous desire to complete the season as the northern Emilia-Romagna region became the first to open the way to training despite government restrictions.

An emergency Lega Serie A assembly via video of the top-flight clubs took place after Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora this week said the chances of restarting were �increasingly narrow�.

League president Paolo Dal Pino stated after the meeting �his openness to a dialogue with the government from a constructive and collaborative perspective, obtaining on this position the full agreement of all the clubs.�

Spadafora has warned that the government will call time on the season which has been suspended since March 9 if the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) fails to convince them on its health and safety protocol. An FIGC meeting slated for May 8 could be decisive.

Meanwhile, the Emilia-Romagna region on Friday gave permission for local clubs, including top-flight sides Bologna, Parma, SPAL and Sassuolo, to resume training in sports centres from May 4 if they wished to do so. Emilia-Romagna regional president Stefano Bonaccini has agreed to allow �professional sportspeople to train individually, in compliance with social distancing rules and without any gatherings in closed-door structures.�

Southern giants Napoli are also planning to return to training as their safety proposals have received the backing of local authorities.

Friday�s league meeting also addressed the issue of TV rights, but no resolutions were adopted concerning broadcasters Sky, DAZN and IMG, with a final payment estimated at 340 million euros ($370 million) for the current season, due to be paid in May.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has said that calling time would be �the death of Italian football�, predicting losses of over 800 million euros in TV rights, sponsors, ticketing and marketing. � AFP

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