The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Soccer players’ union FIFPro wants players to be given mandatory breaks because match congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic is likely to last through 2022.
FIFPro warns of a “first spike in injuries because of insufficient preparation time and congested match schedules” since soccer restarted last month.
The Netherlands-based union says “the impact of COVID-19 means the match schedule will be even more intense over the next two years.”
The union asks for vacation periods of at least three weeks before starting preseason practice and a “mandatory mid-season break of between 10 and 14 days.”
FIFPro says “now is the time to apply this to player health.”
Thousands of Napoli soccer fans who poured into the streets to celebrate the team’s Italian Cup title without social distancing have been criticized by health officials as being “reckless.”
World Health Organization assistant director general Ranieri Guerra says he was reminded of Atalanta’s Champions League game with Valencia in February. That match is believed to have been a key factor in why the virus has been so deadly in Bergamo.
Guerra says “we can’t allow this.”
Deputy Health Minister Sandra Zampa says the celebration amounted to “dangerous behaviour.”
Fans in Naples flooded into central piazzas and set off fireworks to celebrate shortly after Napoli beat Juventus in an empty stadium in Rome on Wednesday.
Nearly 35,000 people have died in Italy from the coronavirus. The Campania region that includes Naples has accounted for 431 of those deaths.
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