In a move that is both surprising and unsurprising, Serie A (with a push from the Italian government) cancels the five fixtures that were scheduled to play behind closed gates, including Fiorentina’s match with Udinese. This isn’t a decision that should catch anyone by surprise, in fact it has been an options for a week now, however, a more organized league would have come to this decision prior to game day.
For those who follow ViolaNation and Fiorentina on social media, you would have seen the club taking off from Firenze yesterday in route to Udine. If games are cancelled citing very valid health concerns stemming from Coronavirus, why would you let your teams travel through an airport, where most of this sickness is now being transmitted, and stay in a hotel, which is the next biggest choke point for transmission? On a day where Lufthansa cancels 25 percent of its flights because of Coronavirus, this is either an unnecessary risk or reckless. If the health of our players, staff and fans is the utmost concern, don’t jeopardize their health!
The refreshingly honest Rita Antognoni took to social media to question this process - “Fiorentina left yesterday, took a plane, hotel, because the Federation had given them the official [ok], but now because of the government and politicians they are told to wait.”
To be honest, what is happening in northern Italy, what has been happening in China, South Korea and many countries across the globe is much more important than soccer. No one would complain that games are cancelled to preserve the health of players, staff and fans. But a few days after it was announced a player in Italy’s third tier had tested positive for Coronavirus, can you imagine that story now coming out about a Fiorentina player testing positive? A full week was between last weeks cancelled games and now. There was plenty of time to do their research, speak with the CDC and Italian government and make a decision so that people weren’t unnecessarily exposed.
The games are already rescheduled for Wednesday, May 13th, pushing the Coppa Italia back a week and showing that some thought went into this decision well in advance of today.
We hope all of our players and staff make it back through another airport and home safely. We will certainly keep everyone posted as we hear more about expectations for upcoming matches.
Sempre Forza Viola!