Having enjoyed an up and down season on the pitch, it looks like Lazio will continue to see turmoil away from the game. The Aquile have drawn the ire of the Italian government and the football bodies after reports emerged of potential COVID-19 breaches. Given the severity of how Italy was hit with the virus and is still fighting back just now, there is a significant punishment expected for any clubs seen to be flouting the rules. Even now, the virus continues to pose huge problems across Italian society.
Despite making good progress on the pitch in recent months, this oversight could come as a major blow to the Roman giants. The club and club president Claudio Lotito have been referred to the federal courts of Italy over the suspected breach of protocol. This is likely to lead to a large-scale investigation into the club’s disregard for protocols. And while there is no immediate understanding of what happens next, it is believed the club could be in line for a hefty punishment if wrongdoing is found.
The accusations show that the club has been accused of “violations of federal regulations and a lack of observance of the health protocols in force”. The allegations include that the club, and two club doctors, were failing to report positive test cases to the health authorities. They also even were accused of failing to interrupt the participation of three players who had taken part in training despite receiving positive tests beforehand.
Indeed, the club is also accused of failing to put in place the 10-day isolation period for any player who has been shown to be asymptomatic of the virus who took part in a game.
What happens next?
For one, the club has appealed the decision. In a statement on behalf of the club, spokesman Roberto Rao said: “We trust in sporting justice, which will be expressed in the appropriate offices so that the correct reconstruction of the facts is re-established.”
The club also produced a statement, saying: “It’s a matter related to the interpretation of the rules around the subject of COVID-19, both in terms of the duty to communicate to the local health authority and the practical interpretation of some parameters of the medical protocol,”
At the moment, then, there appears to be an immediate disagreement among all involved parties in the dispute. What happens next, then, is the guess of anyone else. Lazio have been shown to fight their ground on various issues involving the club, and will no doubt fight this for as far as they can.
However, should breaches be proven, the club could be in line for, if nothing else, a major fine.