27 April 2020

Serie A to return to individual training on May 4 as Italy begin to lift lockdown

Serie A players are set to return to individual training on May 4 before team training resumes on May 18 after the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the first steps to ease the lockdown.

The top flight has been suspended for seven weeks since Sassuolo beat Brescia on March 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But with Italy reporting its lowest number of deaths for more than a month on Sunday, Conte feels now is the right time to announce the return of football training.

He said players can ‘undertake training individually from 4 May, in groups from 18 May, and then we’ll evaluate if there are the conditions to allow the season to be completed’.

"Right now, we need to complete all the discussions to ensure that if we do reach that stage, we’ll do so in the utmost safety and security," he added. "We are passionate about sport and don’t want our athletes to get sick.

"I'm passionate for football. Like many Italians, I initially found it strange that the championship could be interrupted or suspended but I think that even the most ardent fan understands that there wasn't an alternative."

It is hoped that Serie A matches will be able to get back underway from between May 27 and June 2, although no official statement has been made.

The Italian Football Federation is also hoping to begin testing players at the start of May to ensure training, and eventually games, are played in the safest possible conditions.

‘Phase two’ of Italy's lockdown begins on May 4 and will involve the Italian people maintaining social distancing of one-to-two metres when exercising.

A total of 197,675 cases have been confirmed in the country, with the second highest death toll of 26,644.

Reigning champions Juventus currently sit top of Serie A, one point ahead of Lazio with 12 games remaining.

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