The utter chaos around COVID protocols in Serie A shouldn’t be too surprising, writes Susy Campanale, because it’s the combination of those perfectly Italian tendencies – lack of clarity and too many people thinking they have authority.
There are meant to be 10 games on January 6, the first fixtures of 2022, although as I write this only seven will go ahead. Possibly six. Or maybe five. Even four.
According to the Lega Serie A, there is no problem at all and everything is going according to plan, nothing to worry about here.
They insist their protocol remains in place, so any team with at least 13 players including one goalkeeper available must play.
The fact the protocol includes a clause having it over-ruled by the local health authorities (ASL) and that a precedent was set in 2020-21 by Juventus vs. Napoli has seemingly been ignored. Again.
How long can the Lega Serie A keep their heads buried in the sand? Apparently two years and counting.
There are two basic problems behind more or less every area in Italian life and why it is such a poorly-organised place: lack of clarity and too many people thinking they have authority.
The Government decree states those who had their second or third vaccines within 120 days don’t need to quarantine if they are close contacts with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
What it also specifies is that they can only leave their home wearing a FFP2-strength mask for what would’ve been the quarantine period of five days.
Does that mean the players have to wear masks on the pitch? Open to interpretation. What constitutes an outbreak? Open to interpretation. Why can one team be allowed to travel with eight positive players and another blocked with seven? Open to interpretation. Could all this have been clarified when they wrote the rules over Christmas and people read them? Don’t be silly, that would be logical behaviour, we can’t have that here.
In a moment of absolute classic Calcio chaos, today we saw Napoli told they could travel by the ASL 1 – there are two because Naples is such a huge city – only to land in Turin and be told by the ASL 2 that no, three of those players had to quarantine.
This is before the ASL Turin has stuck its oar in, and it will, because the game will be held in Turin.
Every ASL has authority of a sort, each of them thinks they are in charge and the football authorities want to completely ignore them, leaving clubs hanging in a sort of logistical limbo.
Will the Government sit down with the Lega Serie A, some sort of representative of the Ministry of Health and the Technical Committee to work out what the rules mean for football? I wouldn’t bet on it. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine that can give you common sense.