Serie A has announced that league play will continue as scheduled for the opening weekend with the exception of Sampdoria vs Fiorentina and AC Milan vs Genoa, which have been postponed until a later date which will be announced in the next few days. The remaining 8 fixtures will feature a moment of silence before the match. Every player and referee will also wear a black armband.
This is a pretty crappy move on the part of Serie A for two reasons. The first is the most obvious, and it’s that 39 people died, 15 more were injured, and 20 remain missing. The province of Liguria has declared a year-long state of emergency. It’s the simplest thing to push the start date back and take a deep breath to move on before starting the season. The continuation of the matches implies that the rest of Italy hasn’t really been affected.
As gross as it feels to bring this up right now, the second reason is entirely sporting in nature. The league usually reschedules matches for the midweek. This places the teams being rescheduled at a competitive disadvantage: instead of having a week between fixtures, they now have just a few days, forcing the manager to rotate his squad and go to his bench. Basically, it’s penalizing the Genovese clubs (and their opponents) for the catastrophe.
Fiorentina is a team that’s all too familiar with tragedy in the past year, so the club’s request to Serie A to postpone all fixtures this weekend carries a little extra weight than it might from another outfit. While these are not parallel situations, the emotionally and competitively just decision would be to push the season back a week, as happened when Davide Astori died. This is far from being the worst mistake that we’ve seen Serie A make, but it’s a shame that the league couldn’t think straight here.