ROME (Reuters) - An unidentified player at Serie A club Torino has tested positive for the coronavirus in the first round of testing ahead of the club’s planned return to training on Friday.
Serie A clubs have begun to return to training this week after Italy’s eight-week lockdown, the longest in Europe, although there has still been no decision on when, or if, the Serie A season can start again.
“During the first medical examinations carried out on the players of Torino FC, a positive result emerged for COVID-19,” the club said on its website on Wednesday.
“The player, currently asymptomatic, was immediately placed in quarantine and will be constantly monitored.” It did not give any further details.
Although Serie A has said that all 20 of its clubs want to restart the season, Torino appear to have been among the less enthusiastic.
The club’s president Urbano Cairo said last week that Italy should already be thinking about next season.
Neighbours Juventus, who began training on Tuesday, said that Argentina forward Paulo Dybala, one of three members of their squad who were infected in March, had tested negative.
“The player is therefore cured and no longer undergoing the home isolation regime,” said the Serie A champions.
Serie A’s bid to resume faces a test on Thursday when the medical guidelines drawn up by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) will be discussed with the government’s technical-scientific committee.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said last week that the guidelines were insufficient and that the chances of a re-start were getting narrower.
On Wednesday, Spadafora told the lower house of parliament that the decision should not be rushed.
“I confirm my position and that of the government: we all hope that the championship can resume,” he said.
“But today it is impossible to identify a certain date, we must see how the contagion curve will react. We only began phase two (easing lockdown measures) two days again.”
“It must be taken into consideration that football does not allow for safe distancing or use of protective measures,” he added. “The idea of immediately deciding on a date goes against the need to analyse the data.”
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis