It’s been a while since we’ve seen Fiorentina in action, and there’s been plenty of doubt around when we would eventually see them take to the pitch. After the January 6th return from the Christmas break with Udinese, as expected, did not go ahead, it looked like our Coppa Italia tie with Napoli on Wednesday 12th would be our first chance to see the team since our draw at Hellas Verona before Christmas.
Now it’s all changed again, but this is Serie A, this is Italian football, there really is nothing to be surprised about. Our game at Torino, scheduled for today, Sunday January 9th, was already very much in doubt at the same time as our match with Udinese had already been cancelled. Those doubts were in one way justified, as we are no longer playing that fixture today, but then came the rumours on Friday that the game could be moved to tomorrow, Monday 10th January.
Torino had been unable to travel to Bergamo on Thursday to take on Atalanta, as the whole squad was under a quarantine ruling by the Asl of Piemonte. This was due to last until tomorrow, Monday, which is the reason why the game with Fiorentina was expected to be another cancellation. Now the Lega Serie A are taking their appeals against the local health authorities to the regional administrative court (Tar), and they won their case, which meant that Torino could return to training, those negative for Covid, and the fixture with Fiorentina was indeed moved to tomorrow, Monday January 10th.
The kick-off time, of 5pm in Italy, has come under a lot of criticism from both Torino and Fiorentina fans. With no other game taking place that evening, it does seem a strange time to have chosen. Perhaps to allow Fiorentina time to return to Florence and prepare for their Coppa Italia game? It’s difficult to imagine they took that into consideration, but it’s the only feasible motive I can think of.
That game against Napoli, has now been moved to Thursday, January 13th, with a kick off time of 6pm local time. One other game in Serie A has also been moved, with Cagliari now taking on Bologna on Tuesday, that game has a more normal kick-off time of 8:45pm. Bologna, like Torino were also under quarantine orders, but the Lega Serie A still haven’t won their appeal against that.
Interestingly, Udinese’s game with Atalanta will now go ahead as scheduled today, despite the club reporting even more positive covid cases. This came after another appeal was won by the football authorities, which could mean that from now on the Asl rulings, which have caused many fixtures to be cancelled recently, could now be a thing of the past, and the new Lega rulings, should come into full effect. If a club can field 13 players, even including Primavera players, then the fixture must go ahead.
Of course, there is still the small matter of our cancelled fixture with Udinese, but the expected decision will be to play the game at a later date.
In other news, from next weekend, stadium capacity will now be set at just 5,000 fans. This will affect Fiorentina’s next home game on Monday 17th January against Genoa, and also our match away to Cagliari on January 23rd. For now this is the period in which this new rule comes into play, after which we have the international break, and there is sure to be a review.
I hope that’s cleared up some of the mess that we are in right now in Italian football, but as always, this is very much subject to change. The good news is, tomorrow we will get to see Fiorentina play again, with Jonathan Ikoné a part of the squad, while Krzysztof Piątek will probably have to wait until he has been involved in some proper training sessions with the squad.
Despite the controversy and confusion reigning over Italian football right now, at least for Fiorentina, the future is looking bright.