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Football cannot restart soon during the COVID-19 emergency! A critical perspective from the Italian experience and a call for action
  1. Alessandro Corsini1,
  2. Gian Nicola Bisciotti2,3,
  3. Cristiano Eirale3,
  4. Piero Volpi1,4
  1. 1 FC Internazionale Milano, Milano, Italy
  2. 2 Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  3. 3 Paris Saint Germain Football Club, Paris, France
  4. 4 Knee Orthopaedics and Sport Traumatology, Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milano, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alessandro Corsini, FC Internazionale Milano, Milano, Italy; sirconi{at}

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In early 2020, the world is facing a global emergency called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). On 11 March 2020, the WHO has declared the ‘Pandemic state’ calling the governments to take ‘urgent and aggressive action’ to delay and mitigate the peak of infection.

The seriousness of the situation is evidenced by the extreme uncertainty of the measures taken by the governments of the various countries to stem the pandemic spread.

From 8 March 2020, the Italian Government implemented extraordinary measures to decrease the pathogen spread, targeting social distancing between individuals. The law focused on closing the commercial business, limiting the sporting activities and decreasing the opportunity for social gatherings. The most important issue has been the sharp increase in the number of people infected which is causing a significant increase in acute respiratory failure cases (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2)) and acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring hospital admission and intensive care treatment. Contrary from what was thought at the beginning, young people are also affected by the disease and can develop the severe respiratory conditions mentioned above.

Initially, despite the outbreak phenomenon, professional sports were not stopped, and on 11 March 2020, the first football player belonging to Italian Serie A tested positive to coronavirus. The day after other five players and a team …

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