Coronavirus: Italy sports ban set to cover whole of April as minister warns things will never be the same

Matt Davies
Getty Images

Italian sport looks set to be suspended through the entirety of April, Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has revealed, adding the virus will cause significant and irreversible changes.

Talks in Italy have pointed towards Serie A restarting on May 3, a date Spadafora says is now highly unlikely.

Prior to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, training had not been officially banned in Italy, though more stringent measures are now likely to be put in place.

Italy's nationwide lockdown is scheduled to finish on Friday, but health experts believe efforts to contain Covid-19 will last for a number of weeks with more than 90,000 positive cases confirmed in the country.

That number includes at least 15 Serie A players.

Juventus striker Paulo Dybala is among the list of Serie A players to have tested positive for Covid-19 (Getty Images)

Juventus players - including Cristiano Ronaldo - have agreed to forgo around €90million in wages to help during the crisis, while Spadafora said he will allocate €400m to amateur sports associations.

Spadafora warned, however, that sport in Italy will never be the same, with the current suspension set to be extended.

Speaking to Italian daily La Repubblica, Spadafora said: "[On Monday] I will propose extending the ban on sports competitions at every level for all of April.

"And I'll extend the measure to training — an area where we hadn't intervened because there was still a possibility of holding the Olympics."

Spadafora also said Serie A officials must make big changes, saying: "The big clubs live in a bubble, beyond their means, starting with the millionaire wages of the players.

"They need to understand that nothing will be like before anymore after this crisis."

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