Under pressure from the government, the Italian Serie A Football League decided on Saturday to limit the capacity of stadiums to 5,000 spectators from January 15 for the 22nd and 23rd days.
This decision was adopted during a general assembly of the league called urgently the day after a call from Prime Minister Mario Draghi to its president Gabriele Gravina for the organization takes measures in the fight against the resurgence of coronavirus contaminations in the peninsula, due to the Omicron variant.
In the meantime, the matches scheduled for Sunday January 9 between Roma and Juventus and Inter and Lazio will be played at capacity reduced by only 50%, just like the Inter-Juventus Supercup match scheduled for Wednesday January 12 in Milan.
As a reminder, Italy has recorded high numbers of new positive cases in recent days: more than 197,000 on Saturday, more than 108,000 on Friday and more than 219,000 on Thursday. In total, more than 1.8 million people are currently positive in Italy. First European country hard hit by the pandemic, Italy has recorded more than 138,000 dead since early 2020.
A controversial measure adopted in France
Unlike Germany or the Netherlands, where closed doors prevailed, Serie A therefore preferred to opt for the French compromise. With this measure, the league thus avoids the risk of direct intervention by the government, which could have decided that the matches are played without a spectator.
Despite everything, this gauge of 5,000 spectators, imposed in France since the beginning of the year by the government, gives rise to debates and questions from observers. In fact, during recent encounters, we have observed that, despite the observed tonnage, the spectators were all side by side in the stands. This was particularly the case for the meeting between Lens and Lille in the Coupe de France on Tuesday January 4.
An amendment had however been proposed in order to calculate the stadium tonnage pro rata of the capacity to accommodate. Thus, a 50,000-seat stadium could have accommodated 25,000 people, for example. But the Minister of Health Olivier Véran did not wish to go in this direction: « We made the choice of simplicity. As soon as the sanitary conditions are right, we can however revert to proportional gauges, as we had already done in the spring, at the end of the third wave « , he explained.