The Italian Football Association has warned the country’s professional football leagues that they must “step back” from players who have been suspended for serious injuries.
The association’s secretary general, Massimo D’Aloisio, made the comments during a press conference in Rome on Wednesday, when asked about the suspension of players linked to the fatal earthquake that struck the central Italian city of Treviso in December.
“We are very clear that the rules of the game must be respected.
And we want the game to stay as it is,” he said.
“We want to do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the sport.
We are not going to allow players to suffer in silence.””
The sport should not be put in a box of shame.
I would like to ask everyone to be very careful, to make a few decisions about their behaviour,” he added.”
The rules of football should be followed, as the sport is not a place for bullying, but a place where you can go out, with a clear conscience, and play football.””
We need to make sure that we respect the law, which says that if a player has a serious medical problem, the suspension is lifted,” he continued.
“In this case, we don’t have the right to suspend anyone for having a serious problem.”
“I would also like to emphasise that this is a medical issue.
We cannot suspend players for a medical problem.”
The association has previously suspended footballers from Serie A for up to a year.
The earthquake that devastated the central town of Treveso killed at least 13 people and caused more than $15 billion (£12.3bn) in damages.
A number of players have been charged over the tragedy, which was triggered by the building collapse of a skyscraper and collapsed into the streets.
Several of those charged, including players including Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo and Milan’s Gervinho, have denied any wrongdoing.
The country’s top professional league, Serie A, has been under pressure to make its players’ suspensions less severe.
In an earlier statement, the association’s president, Massimiliano Marchetti, said the players who were suspended in the earthquake had been found to be in “very good condition” and that they had been cleared to play again.
“They have been examined by the medical team and the results are good.
We have asked the medical committee to give them an opportunity to play,” Marchetti said.”
Unfortunately, we cannot comment further on the case.”
The quake and subsequent tsunami that followed, along with a subsequent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Italy, has led to fears of a rise in deaths.