In a move that pretty much nobody can possibly argue against, the powers at Serie A’s league office have agreed to postpone the Atalanta-Fiorentina match by a day so that the game doesn’t fall on the first anniversary of Davide Astori’s death. It’s hard to imagine a more obvious possible outcome for this fixture. Cagliari have also had their match moved for this same reason.
For those who haven’t been paying any attention, Viola captain Astori was found dead in his hotel room ahead of a match at Udinese on 4 March 2018 due after a hereditary heart condition killed him in his sleep. The resulting mourning led to fixtures cancelled across the country as clubs and players mourned the gentle, steady, and beloved Italy international.
Fiorentina had to petition the league office to move their match against la Dea to Sunday rather than Monday, which is more in keeping with how football ought to work anyways. But still, let’s go ahead and grudgingly credit the bureaucrats who decided that this was worth moving a game up a day rather than making Asto’s mates play on the road exactly a year after he passed on. Thanks are also due to Atalanta, although it’s tough to imagine any reason they’d refuse to move this fixture up by 24 hours to better alleviate the Viola agony that will surely occupy the 4th of March.
It’s another stark reminder that it’s been nearly a year since that indescribable morning in Udine, and that Davide’s absence is and ought to remain a red letter day in the calcio calendar. He was an international, a captain for two Serie A teams, and one of the most respected professionals around.
I still can’t believe that he’s gone. Maybe it’s because he was my age when he passed, but even understanding that someone that young and that healthy could possibly die, without any warning, has been nigh on impossible. Giving fans of Fiorentina, and of Italy and of Italian soccer in general, the fourth of March to contemplate the importance and impact of Astori simply fits into the baseline of decency for the league. We fully understand that even that baseline is not always what you can expect from the Serie A office, so we’re particularly pleased that they’re doing the right thing here.
It’s still weeks away, but damn. Davide Astori will always be a legend, and it behooves Serie A to recognize that. I’m glad that they’ve done so.