Italy’s clubs have confirmed they will fulfil their fixtures at the weekend, quelling fears that they would embark upon a strike.
The clubs’ association, Lega Calcio, had expressed its disappointment at the Italian government’s failure to consult them as they made the decision to ban 25 stadiums from playing matches in front of supporters.
The ban came in the wake of the death of a police officer during the Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo last week.
Only six grounds have been given permission to admit fans as the government looks to implement stringent new, and some clubs were reputedly considering refusing to play at the weekend.
However the clubs have confirmed they will participate in the weekend’s fixtures.
“After a very lively discussion where many different opinions came up against each other, I have to communicate that we decided to play, to demonstrate our seriousness and our share of the responsibility for the country’s problems,” said Lega Calcio chief Antonio Matarrese.
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani welcomed the decision despite harbouring reservatiuons about the new government measures.
“Game on,” said Galliani.
“It was a great test of maturity on the part of the chairmen. There’s still a great deal of bitterness because we were not consulted by the government.”
The Italian Players Union (AIC) has also dismissed the possibility of a strike despite concerns that those clubs able to admit supporters will hold an advantage over their rivals.
“I can exclude that,” AIC president Gianni Grazioli told gazzetta.it. “This proposition has not been made by us.”