Italian Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino has warned that Italian football “is close to collapsing” after new coronavirus restrictions.
About 1,000 fans have been allowed into Serie A stadiums in recent weeks since restrictions were eased in September.
That was until recently, where supporters of the country’s top-flight league have now been banned from stadiums again after the country witnessed an explosion coronavirus cases.
Professional football continues in Italy but all games must now be played behind closed doors, evident by Monday’s Serie A action between AC Milan and Roma, which took place at an empty San Siro.
And despite the safety measures put in place, Dal Pino has questioned the severity of the regulations, while calling on the government to provide economic support to the league.
“I hope the government understands the value of football as an industry, beyond any superficial demagogy,” Dal Pino told reporters.
“We are very concerned, we are close to collapsing and I fear that the country’s economy will pay dearly for the restrictive measures that have been put in place.
“Health comes first but it is important to do the right things, planning in the medium and long term and think about the consequences on employment.
“The side effects of the recent measures affect many sectors, including our own, which lost €600m (£544m/$708m) in 2020 due to the closure of stadiums.
“We expect attention and sensitivity from the government.
“The Prime Minister has clearly said that the sectors affected by forced closures will have an economic aid and we expect that an industry like ours, which pays more than €1 billion (£907m/$1.2bn) in taxes every year, will receive what was announced.”
The latest development means that Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash between Juventus and Barcelona will be played without fans.