It has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote anything. My apologies, life has a way of getting in the way. A couple things happened yesterday for the good and bad that I just couldn’t let go unnoticed.
Lets start with the shameful. Yesterday, the Fiorentina Women traveled to Tavagnacco, a small city of 14,000 people in the province of Udine that has a deep history with its women’s football team. According to TripAdvisor, Tavagnacco is best known for their war cemetery. Now you would think a small city that is best known for its war cemetery would have ample ambulances around. That unfortunately, is not the case.
Unheard of in professional sports, there was no ambulance or medical personnel present for this game. Speaking only from my experience, even high school teams have ambulances in attendance at all events in the United States. Mister Cincotta spoke after the game with the media on the absence of an ambulance and the 40 plus minutes between the first half and second half. “Congratulations to the girls, they played the whole game safely. Today there was a lot of risk, I speak of all the athletes on the field, because we for 43 minutes. The athletes were forced to stay in the locker room without being able to leave, even when we repeatedly asked that we could remain active on the field ... Then we returned to the field without warming up again to play It exposed all the players to high risk of injuries. They are people to be protected and the athlete’s health must be dear to all of us. What happened today must serve to improve a better organization in the future.”
Another unfortunate stain on the state of women’s professional sports in Italy. Another example of why there needs to be holistic changes. Fortunate for us and the sport that they have such phenomenal pioneers in Cincotta and the Fiorentina Women.
Back on the field the women won their 100th game since being formed in 2015, 1-0. That is 100 wins out of their first 137 games. This game saw the return of Lana Clelland, who was sidelined since the summer with a knee injury. It really was a site to see watching her back on the field following her grueling recovery from a knee ligament tear. Cincotta said post game, “It was a beautiful day seeing Lana back on the field again.”
A game that saw only one goal, it was one that our very own Hesanka would be most proud of. In the 37th minute, Fiorentina captain Alia Guagni sent a cross into the box that Paloma Lazaro put home. The win kept the women in second place, level on points with AC Milan and 6 points from first place, Juventus.
Fiorentina Women next play host to AC Milan in the first leg of the Women’s Italian Cup quarterfinal on February 8th. Until then, I hope the league takes a serious look at player safety. Not having an ambulance at a professional game and seeing it halted for 43 minutes at the half are not images that a league that is seemingly hitting its stride wants. It should expect better! We sure expect better from them!
Forza Viola! Forza ragazze!