Ranieri backs Serie A resumption despite 'falsified championship'
Claudio Ranieri contradicted the thoughts of Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero by backing calls for the Serie A season to be completed.FotMob - over 1 year ago
Sampdoria head coach Claudio Ranieri said the delay in Serie A due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in "a falsified championship" but backed calls to allow the 2019-20 season to be completed.
Ranieri's men are 16th in the table and just one point clear of the relegation zone with 13 games left to play, and the Blucerchiati boss expressed doubts over whether he would be able to push his players to their maximum should the season resume.
The Italian government officially suspended all sporting events across the country indefinitely as part of its measures to address the pandemic, and Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero said the Serie A season "must end here".
But Ranieri told Radio Anch'io Sport: "I believe that after a month and more of inactivity it will always be a falsified championship, because there has not been the usual regularity. I think it is right that the teams play for the titles and for salvation, but it would still be a distorted championship for me.
"I don't know if the resumption of the championship will be possible or not, but one thing is certain: the players are like Formula 1 cars, they must be pushed to the maximum.
"Will it be possible to do it in this situation? On that, the Sports Medical Federation has the last word. I say that this championship must be concluded, but the doctors must tell us if and how to do it."
Five of Sampdoria's first-team players and one member of the club's medical staff have tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks.
Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby all contracted the virus, along with club doctor Amedeo Baldari.
Ranieri suggested teams should be allowed to make additional substitutions if the season resumes, in order to ease the strain on players.
"I had a player declared positive first, then he turned negative and then he was declared positive again after he had started training again," explained Ranieri.
"I have also read that this evil can also attack an important apparatus such as the heart.
"If we resume, I propose five changes per game. Because we would bring maximum stress to all players, especially those affected by the virus."