Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus have postponed all training sessions amid concerns some of their under-23s players may have contracted the coronavirus. According to RT Sport, Juve have halted all training sessions and told their U23s to remain at home.
The U23s’ recent Serie C opponents Pianese, who they beat 1-0 a week ago, have had three players test positive for the disease.
A Juventus statement read: “The Juventus Under 23 team training activities are temporarily suspended.
“The preventive measure was decided upon and is pending further official communications by the health authorities of Alessandria (Hygiene and Public Health Service – SISP) of which the Juventus health personnel are in constant contact with.
“A contagion of the COVID-19 which has emerged in the last few hours among the U.S. Pianese players which the Bianconeri played on the 23rd of February at the “Moccagatta” in Alessandria.
“It is specified that, six days after the game, the Juventus players remain asymptomatic and are under medical supervision.
“Juventus is in constant contact with LegaPro.”
But RT Sport claim Maurizio Sarri’s side have called to a halt all training sessions and their U23s have been asked to remain at home until March 8, though no player has shown any symptoms.
The Bianconeri trained yesterday at Continassa and were due to have a day off today anyway, with training scheduled again on Monday.
It is not yet known whether Juve’s first team will return to training tomorrow, with their next match the second leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final with AC Milan on Wednesday night (7.45pm).
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There have been over 87,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, known medically as COVID-19, with nearly 3,000 deaths.
Nearly 43,000 people to have contracted the illness have recovered, but it has broke out in Italy at an alarming rate.
The World Health Organisation said on Friday that the virus’ spread is “getting bigger” and in Italy, over 1,000 cases have been confirmed, with 29 deaths – the most in Europe.
The Italian authorities have urged the public to remain indoors and avoid contact with others.
Serie A has postponed five matches this weekend, including Juve’s clash with Inter Milan at the Allianz Stadium.
The match was first set to be played behind closed doors but was then called off, with Italy having put multiple towns in the north of the country into lockdown.
Juve’s clash with Inter will be rescheduled for Wednesday May 13, Serie A have confirmed.
They said: “With regards to article 1. co. 1 letter A) of the Decree from the President of the Council of Ministers on 25 February 2020 on “Further provisions for the implementation of the Decree Law no. 6 of 23 February 2020, taking urgent measures for the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency caused by COVID-19,”; considering the numerous urgent regulatory interventions from the Government to protect public health and safety in response to this extraordinary emergency.”
The decision also sees the Coppa Italia final pushed back a week from May 13 to Wednesday May 20.
Serve A president Paolo Dal Pino insists Inter refused to play Juve tomorrow night behind closed doors.
“On Friday the CEO Luigi De Siervo and I proposed to Inter to move the match against Juventus on Monday evening to play it with open doors,” Dal Pino told Italian news agency ANSA, per Sky Sports.
“Inter categorically refused to take the field, assume its responsibilities and do not speak of unsporting situations or a distorted championship.
“[Inter CEO Beppe] Marotta represents Inter’s needs, I protect the general interests of the whole Serie A, which unfortunately suffers from daily conflicts of interest related to each team.
“I have to promote Italian football and his image in the world, so transmitting games in empty stadiums would’ve been a terrible calling card for the country.
“The decision was down to me, but the clubs involved were contacted by telephone, so we know that they all had positions which were difficult to reconcile.
“We act with a sense of responsibility to protect the fans and the rights of all to attend the games, including the needs of the broadcasters to transmit images of full stands. I invite everyone to think of this as Serie A, not as individual clubs.”
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