Football: Italian soccer considers allowing fans into stadiums in July

Italian soccer is considering allowing fans into stadiums next month.

The Italian federation issued a 40-page document on Monday outlining strict new rules for the resumption of Serie A on June 20.

The document specifies teams must go on and off the pitch at different times and limits the number of people in stadiums to 300, including players, staff and journalists.

However, Italian media reports that the soccer federation could discuss at its next meeting a vastly reduced number of fans being permitted to attend.

“It’s something I really wish for with all my heart, federation president Gabriele Gravina said.

“It’s unthinkable that in a stadium that can hold 60,000 there’s not space for a small percentage of fans with the necessary precautions.”

The revised Serie A calendar is expected to be announced on Monday night. It was decided last week to resume with the four catch-up matches postponed when Italian sports shut down in March because of the coronavirus.

There are 124 Serie A matches remaining, which will be played in 43 days. Most of them will take place at night, with the earliest ones kicking off at 5:15 p.m., because of the heat in the country, especially in July and August.

Juventus, bidding for a record-extending ninth successive title, has a one-point advantage over Lazio. Third-placed Inter Milan is nine points behind the leader with a game in hand.

The Italian Cup will be completed the week before Serie A restarts. The first legs of the semifinals have already been played: AC Milan drawing with Juventus 1-1, and Napoli winning at Inter Milan 1-0.

A strict medical protocol has been put in place which includes the contentious, and potentially problematic, regulation that if one person at a club player or staff tests positive for COVID-19, the entire group must go to a training camp retreat for 14 days.

The federation is hoping to get that shortened if the number of new cases in Italy continues to decrease.

“Football has never asked for shortcuts,” Gravina said.

“There are clear rules that allow you to continue activity, isolating an athlete or member of staff, and continuing training.

“The hope is that soon there will be a re-evaluation, a week before the start of the tournaments. We will send a new proposal, in the hope that it can find space in the revision of the rules, which are today creating anxiety and worry in our sport.”