After the bridge collapse in Genoa resulted in the season-opening clash between Sampdoria and Fiorentina being delayed, Serie A has finally handed down the date that the match will occur: Wednesday the 19th of September. The league in its infinite wisdom sure did manage to choose a doozy.
This match will fall in a pretty unfortunate spot for the Viola. The international break falls the week before, and the various internationals in the squad run the risk of injury or fatigue while representing their nations. On Sunday, Serie A resumes with the Gigliati traveling to face Napoli in what’ll doubtless be a stiff test. Then, three days later, the Tuscans have to travel to face Sampdoria. Stefano Pioli will probably have to rotate his squad considerably to account for exhaustion. Then it’s back to Florence and a match against SPAL four days after that.
It’s not much better for the Blucerchiati, who see the Viola sandwiched between Frosinone anda trip to Inter Milan. Another consideration here is that the pitch at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris could be in pretty terrible condition, as the groundskeepers will have just three days to get it up to scratch after Samp-Frosinone.
As we discussed previously, this is a pretty stupid decision by Serie A. The Genovese clubs and their opponents are essentially being penalized for a tragedy that has no correlation with football; by playing on short rest and with fixtures against direct competitors for the European places who will have had twice as long to prepare and recuperate, the league has signalled its disdain for fairness once again when it easily could have rescheduled all the matches to this date, rather than singling out the ones most affected by it. I suppose it serves as yet another reminder that the power structures entrenched in modern football are not your friends, though, so I suppose we should be thankful for that.