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‘It’s a wish, I sincerely hope so’ – FIGC president wants crowds at Serie A grounds before the end of the season

In a sign of how things appear to be improving across Europe after lockdown’s were eased, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, said he hoped crowds would be back in Italy’s football stadia before the end of the current campaign.

At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, Italy was one of the severest hit countries, but a genuine belief that things are on the up is behind Gravina’s hope.

“It’s a wish, I sincerely hope so,” he said on Italian radio station Radio 24 and cited by BBC Sport, when asked if fans could be allowed back in stadiums soon.

“It’s hard to imagine that, with all the precautions that are being taken, you cannot have a certain percentage of people in a stadium with 60,000 or 80,000 seats.”

With the Bundesliga leading the way so far, having managed to play a number of fixtures behind closed doors before their European counterparts have even got going, Italy do at least have a template to work to.

If the circumstances surrounding the matches allow for a potential re-opening of stadia, then that is a decision for the authorities to make.

No one wants to see a second lockdown having to be forced on certain countries, however, so the idea of a highly concentrated area of people needs to be thoroughly and rigorously assessed before the green light is given.