Coronavirus: Torino chief Cairo - it's foolish to resume training

By Sports Desk March 22, 2020

Torino president Urbano Cairo says it is "foolish" for Serie A clubs to be considering returning to training given the ever-changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport in Italy has been on lockdown since March 9 due to the spread of COVID-19, with most domestic leagues across the globe now suspended.

There have been 4,825 deaths in Italy as a result of the virus, the highest tally of any nation.

However, Cagliari and Napoli are among the clubs to say training will resume in the coming week, while Lazio are also said to be planning on returning.

Cairo expressed his frustration at those plans in an interview with Turin paper La Stampa.

"If I think back to the Lega meeting on March 10, there were still those who talked about training and returning to play," Cairo said.

"Those speeches, to be heard now, seem [like they're] from another planet.

"I said, 'If we do not take drastic action, moving fans will also contribute to increasing the infection of others'.

"It seems foolish to me to argue a thesis on the basis of contagion data. Saying 'my region has no problems' with such a changing situation isn't a good explanation.

"Meanwhile, there are 16 clubs who don't want to think about [returning to training]."

Asked why he thinks some teams want to train, Cairo replied: "I guess for sporting interests. Perhaps to take advantage of the preparation."

Cairo also said it was "inevitable" clubs will have to ask players to take pay cuts during the crisis and believes the only way to complete the season is to have matches behind closed doors.

"Football is now more united, it is not time for cunning. If the championship ever resumes, it will be played behind closed doors," he said.

Related items

  • Genoa 0-2 Inter: Lukaku scores again as Conte's men return to winning ways Genoa 0-2 Inter: Lukaku scores again as Conte's men return to winning ways

    Romelu Lukaku maintained his hot scoring streak as Inter battled to a 2-0 victory over Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to snap their three-game winless run.

    Inter lost 2-1 to bitter rivals Milan last weekend, either side of draws with Lazio and Borussia Monchengladbach, and they made hard work of overcoming Genoa on Saturday.

    The Nerazzurri failed to register a single shot on target in the first half of a league game for the first time under Antonio Conte, who has been under increasing pressure.

    But Inter made the breakthrough thanks to Lukaku's 10th goal in eight matches this term for club and country, which Danilo D'Ambrosio added to 11 minutes from time as the visitors moved up to third.

  • Ramos and Alba fit for El Clasico starts Ramos and Alba fit for El Clasico starts

    Sergio Ramos returned to captain Real Madrid and Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba was passed fit for Saturday's Clasico showdown at Camp Nou. 

    Ramos missed a stunning 3-2 midweek Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk after suffering a knee injury in the shock loss to Cadiz, but the captain was picked to start at the heart of the Madrid defence against Ronald Koeman's side. 

    Under-pressure head coach Zinedine Zidane restored Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Nacho Fernandez to the starting line-up, with Luka Modric among those dropped to the bench. 

    Barca welcomed Alba back from a hamstring problem, while Pedri came into the side and Sergio Busquets started after being on the bench for the hammering of Ferencvaros. 

    France forward Antoine Griezmann was once again named among the substitutes by Koeman, who was overseeing his first Clasico since his appointment in August. 

    Madrid are unbeaten in their past two Clasicos in LaLiga, keeping a clean sheet on both occasions, with Barca having only failed to score in three in a row once - between 1957 and 1958. 

  • Ronaldo waiting on coronavirus test but remains unavailable for Juventus Ronaldo waiting on coronavirus test but remains unavailable for Juventus

    Andrea Pirlo is waiting to see if Cristiano Ronaldo has returned a negative test for coronavirus, as he confirmed Paulo Dybala will start in Juventus' clash with Hellas Verona. 

    Ronaldo has been self-isolating since testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Portugal and missed Juve's 1-1 draw with Crotone in Serie A last weekend and their 2-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday. 

    Pirlo revealed on Saturday that Ronaldo remains unavailable, though Juve were waiting on the result of the 35-year-old's most-recent test to see if he could return to training.

    The Bianconeri have only played 13 Serie A matches without the Portugal captain since his arrival prior to the 2018-19 season and their win percentage in those games stands at 54 per cent, while they have been victorious in 73 per cent of league fixtures when he does play.

    One forward who will feature on Sunday, however, is Dybala, who made his first appearance of the season against Dynamo and is set to start against Verona. 

    Dybala played 33 times in Serie A last season, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists, but a thigh injury limited his game time this term. 

    "We had time to rest after the trip to Dynamo Kiev, so apart from Giorgio Chiellini, everyone else is available," Pirlo told a news conference.  

    "As of last night [Friday], I had no news on Ronaldo's COVID status. We all had swabs this morning, including Ronaldo at home. He is definitely out of the match against Hellas. 

    "I can confirm Dybala will start tomorrow. He had the right progress in training and it's only fair now that he starts the match. 

    "I always said it was an issue of time, as he had the injury, then a virus on international duty. The two times he was on the bench without coming on, it was because we'd gone down to 10 men. He played in Kiev as a substitute, it's only right that he starts tomorrow." 

    While Dybala and Ronaldo have been absent, Alvaro Morata has performed well, scoring three goals in the past two matches. 

    "This is why we signed him," said Pirlo. "We knew he was a great player who provided us with different tactical options, he knows Dybala well and I think they can happily coexist in the same line-up. 

    "With Atletico Madrid, he had recently been accustomed to playing largely on the back foot, so there were 80 metres in front of him to go on the counter-attack. 

    "We try to keep the ball, work on the position of the body when receiving a pass, pressing to free up a man. We work for each other to ensure we can move the ball quickly." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.