The Italian Federation of American Football, FIDAF, has postponed the start of Italy’s top league, Division 1 for at least two weeks, until March 21 at the earliest.
The move has been made in the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus throughout the world and Italy and after the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte announced that all schools and universities will be closed from Thursday until March 15. In addition, all sports events and competitions of all disciplines and types both public and private have also been suspended or only permitted behind closed doors with adequate medical staff on hand to check each participant.
According to the FIDAF, it is impossible for the FIDAF teams to comply with this requirement and as a result, all three Italian American Football leagues, Division 1, Second Division and the CIF9 (third division) have been postponed.
The FIDAF is now working to restructure the schedules for each league.
Leoluca Orlando, President of FIDAF:
“Our country has never had to face such a health emergency before and it is right that each of us collaborates diligently and responsibly following the directions of the Authorities for the containment of the risk of infection.”
According to the government’s decree, not only are games affected but also training sessions which are only permitted without the presence of the general public, whether indoors or outdoors. In all such cases, the medical staffs of all associations and sports clubs, are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among athletes, coaches, managers and anyone else involved. Basic sporting activities carried out outdoors or inside gyms, swimming pools and sports centers of all kinds, are permitted only on condition that it is possible to comply with the recommendations. This includes being able to maintain a distance of at least one meter between each individual in a locker room.
As most people are aware, the spread of COVID-19 has been fast and governments around the world are scrambling to contain it. There are more than 93,000 cases around the world – the overwhelming majority in China – but as deaths are reported in Italy, Iran and the United States, authorities are considering new quarantine zones and travel restrictions. In Italy, so far the virus has caused 3,089 infected cases and 107 fatalities.