Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has cleared Serie A clubs to return to group training on Monday.
The announcement, made in a press conference on Saturday evening, suggests a step forward in the attempts being made to resume the Serie A season.
However, it was made clear that for play to resume from the coronavirus suspension, safety guarantees must be met which have not yet happened.
Serie A clubs have already voted on June 13 as the date for the league to return, but must receive clearance from the government in order for the decision to be finalised.
‘Team training will restart on May 18, including football,’ Conte said.
‘[Minister of Sport Vincenzo] Spadafora is following the situation with great attention and is very responsible.
‘We must wait for conditions to be achieved to guarantee maximum safety for the resumption of the championship.
‘We need some more guarantees which at the moment have not been met. We hope this will happen as soon as possible.’
Serie A clubs have already recalled players back to Italy who had returned to their home countries in order to spend lockdown with their families.
Earlier this week, Gonzalo Higuain became the last member of the Juventus squad to return to Turin.
All players returning from abroad will go into quarantine for two weeks upon their return to Italy.
Sports minister Spadafora has previously reassured citizens that sport would return in Italy ‘one step at a time’.
‘Finally, we are also working with the Ministry for Education, for Equal Opportunities and Families to reopen sporting facilities, so we can guarantee a summer of sport for the youngest members of our society,’ Spadafora said last week.
‘So, one step at a time, sport will return. It’ll be stronger than ever.’
As things stand in Serie A, holders Juventus are one point clear of Lazio at the top of the table.
Lazio have an eight-point buffer between themselves and Inter in third, though Antonio Conte’s side have a game in hand.
Brescia, SPAL and Lecce occupy the bottom three with Genoa, Sampdoria, Torino and Udinese all within three points of the relegation zone.
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