‘Is there really a serious risk for the players and staff?’ – Sarri questions coronavirus protocols

The Juventus coach is not certain that supporters should be deprived of “two hours of enjoyment” due to the outbreak

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has questioned Serie A’s decision to play all fixtures behind closed doors in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Italy has been severely affected by the outbreak, with over 7,000 confirmed cases and over 360 deaths recorded to date.

The northern region of the country has been hit hardest, and the Italian government has reacted by imposing stringent protocols which have caused major disruptions to the sporting calendar.

A number of Serie A fixtures were postponed last week, including the Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter, but the game was eventually rescheduled for Sunday night.

The Bianconeri secured a 2-0 win in an empty Allianz Stadium thanks to second-half goals from Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala, with all supporters now banned from attending matches until April 3.

When asked to address the measures being put into place during his post-match interview, Sarri expressed his doubts over “how elevated the risks are” to his players as the COVID-19 hysteria continues.

“I am a coach and can talk about football, but I am always wary of those who believe they know everything. I don’t know what the right thing is to do,” said Sarri.

“What I have to ask is whether it’s right to take two hours of enjoyment away from those who are stuck indoors or if there really is a serious risk for the players and staff, I just don’t know the answer to those questions.

“I honestly cannot say how elevated the risks are.”

Sarri went on to explain his team selection against Inter, with Dybala and Miralem Pjanic named among the substitutes, and Juan Cuadrado moved into a right-back role for one of the most crucial games of the season.

“We considered it with the staff, because starting with Cuadrado in the trident meant leaving Dybala and Douglas Costa out. Starting with Douglas allowed us to have both options and Dybala proved a very important card we could whip out at the right time,” said Sarri.

“This is an important victory, but there are still 12 games to go, so it’s a long road ahead. This was far more what I wanted to see from my Juventus.

“We had seemed a little empty and flat recently, so we had to choose players who could guarantee more energy, both physical and psychological. That’s the sensation we got in training from these players, but that can change in a couple of weeks.”

Juve moved back to the top of Serie A after their latest win, one point ahead of Lazio and nine ahead of Inter with 12 matches of the 2019-20 campaign remaining.