Sports | March 14, 2020 1:51 pm

Italian Soccer Players “Saddened and Outraged” Over Clubs’ Coronavirus Expectations

The players say they're expected to train and undergo daily temperature checks

Empty stadium in Italy
PALERMO, ITALY - MARCH 11: A general view of a empty Renzo Barbera in Palermo, Italy.
Tullio Puglia/Getty Images

Though Italy has shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, some Italian soccer clubs are reportedly expecting that players still show up for training in small groups or for daily temperature checks. This comes after the Italian government shut down most non-essential travel and businesses in an attempt to flatten the curve on the virus, which has hit the country harder than any other in Europe: to date, there have been nearly 20,000 positive cases, and more than 1,000 deaths.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Italian soccer players’ association put out a statement in response to the clubs’ demands, calling the move  a “shamefully irresponsible act,” all so that players will refuse and lose out on their salaries.

It means we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel of dignity.

The players have been consistent in their demand for player health, calling for games to be cancelled before the government locked the country down until April 3. Several high-profile players who play professionally in Italy have already been diagnosed with coronavirus, including Juventus’s Daniel Rugani and Fiorentina’s Patrick Cutrone. Following Rugani’s diagnosis, Juventus imposed a self-quarantine on its players, even down to the youth levels.

For now, it appears that the clubs are trying to retain some sense of normalcy, while the players choose to return to their homes and undergo the same self-quarantine processes handed down to the entire country by the Italian government. With this latest statement from the players’ association, it appears that the two entities will remain at odds with each other as the country attempts to contain the pandemic.

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Read the full story at the Associated Press