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Inter Banned from Traveling Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

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Stefan de Vrij and Matias Vecino’s positive tests pushed the local health authority in action

Stefan de Vrij (L) of FC Internazionale and Milan Skriniar... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Update:

The league has officially postponed Inter vs Sassuolo, so the same mess from Juve/Napoli and Lazio/Torino will be avoided. In both of those games, one team was banned from traveling but the match was still scheduled to be played. The end result was the available team arriving on the pitch and warming up alone while the banned team was stuck across the country. Safe to say, it was not a good look for the league.

One possible date to replay this game is April 7th, the same day as the Juve/Napoli replay (and yes, it’s been six months since it was originally scheduled. Yikes).


The positive coronavirus cases at Inter just keep growing. Inter announced Thursday that Danilo D’Ambrosio and Samir Handanovic are now joined by Stefan de Vrij and Matias Vecino as positives for COVID-19.

These additional cases were enough for the local health authority (ASL/ATS of Milan) to take steps to prevent further spread. Inter is unable to train or travel to international camps. Furthermore, the Sassuolo game scheduled for this Saturday has also been postponed by the ATS, though it is Serie A itself which must officially call off the game. We have seen this situation before in the Juventus/Napoli debacle and more recently Lazio/Torino. In both cases, the game will likely be rescheduled, though not without significant hoopla, as is the custom in Italian football. Once (or if) the league officially postpones the game this weekend we will have a better idea as to how this will sort itself out but Inter will end up playing Sassuolo one way or another.

AC Milan v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The ATS decision does have its benefits. Inter has until an April 3rd meeting with Bologna to recover its positive players, instead of playing short-handed this weekend. Plus, players like Lukaku, Barella, and Hakimi won’t be dealing with 2+ games for their national teams and the injury risks that go along. Inter has looked tired in recent matches and the two week long layoff could have its benefits. In a best-case scenario the Nerrazurri come back refreshed and healthy in April. We all know it won’t quite turn out that way (this is Inter after all) but at least there is a silver lining.

For now, though, let’s hope de Vrij, Vecino, Handanovic, D’Ambrosio, and anyone else infected with COVID-19 recover. The health and safety of the players trump any sporting concerns we may have.