Inter director Beppe Marotta discussed playing Juventus behind closed doors, the Christian Eriksen decision and facing his old club. “I’ve worked for several different clubs.”
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This fixture was postponed a week ago amid discussions over who should be allowed into the stadium, but the Coronavirus epidemic has since become even more serious, so all the games are played behind closed doors.
It’s very likely the Serie A season will be suspended after Tuesday’s emergency summit with the Lega Serie A, FIGC, Players’ Association and Minister for Sport.
“It’s a surreal atmosphere, certainly, so the difficulty for both teams will be maintaining their focus and motivation. We hope the situation can return to normal soon,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia.
“I’ve been working in sport for 40 years, so I have worked for several different clubs and in life you do move on. The important thing is to love this profession and do everything to make your club, fans and players happy.”
The Players’ Association wanted to call a strike this morning, just minutes before Parma-SPAL kicked off.
“We called the emergency meeting after a sudden call from the Players’ Association, but we could not call off the games because they were about to begin. Parma-SPAL literally was kicking off at that moment.
“There simply wasn’t the time to change the planned fixture list, so the Lega Serie A respected the existing rules, including the latest Government decree released very late last night.
“Obviously, the climate is one of unease for any team, because the thoughts go to their families and loved ones. It’s a delicate situation.
“The clubs have taken every possible precaution to ensure their health is protected and we are certain we’ve done our duty in that sense. There will be a meeting on Tuesday and we will accept the indications given, just as we did in previous weeks.”
Italian clubs are still in the Champions League and Europa League, so if Serie A is suspended, what effect will that have on their UEFA tournament participation?
“When it comes to European competition, that is a different situation, as we organise our own leagues and await indications from UEFA. They will take the current Italian situation into account.
“I don’t think our participation in the Cup competitions is at risk, as they can be played behind closed doors. The Government will consider every eventuality and so will UEFA.”
As for the game itself, Marotta was asked why Antonio Conte still doesn’t believe Eriksen is ready to start in midfield.
“Games last 90 minutes, the objective is to get a positive result, so there’s no reason to make audacious choices at the start. Players who come off the bench can often be decisive, especially at this level.”
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