Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus runs on the pitch in an empty stadium during lockdown in Turin, Italy, March 8 2020. -Picture: VINCENZO PINTO / AFP
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus runs on the pitch in an empty stadium during lockdown in Turin, Italy, March 8 2020. -Picture: VINCENZO PINTO / AFP

Milan — Football clubs in Italy’s top flight can resume full training from Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday, as part of a further easing of restrictions of one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and a date has not yet been set for the season to restart, though players have returned to individual training while respecting social distancing rules.

Italy was the first European country seriously affected by the coronavirus crisis, and Serie A was the first league to play matches without spectators and the first big league to suspend play.

Conte confirmed that football clubs would return to training on Monday with other sports teams but could not give any details about when Serie A would resume.

On Saturday Germany’s Bundesliga became the first big European league to restart since the Covid-19 pandemic obliterated the global sporting calendar.

“There are so many pressures to restart Serie A but it is necessary that the highest safety conditions are in place,” Conte added. “To give a precise date we need to have some more guarantees than those we have at the moment but from what I’ve been told, we haven’t had them yet.”

Juventus were leading the Serie A standings by one point over second-placed Lazio with 12 games remaining when the season was halted in March.

Italy has the third-highest death toll from coronavirus in the world though its daily tally on Saturday fell to 153 deaths, the lowest since March 9.

Reuters

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