Bologna Sporting Director Riccardo Bigon feels that the Serie A clash between his team and Inter necessarily had to be postponed because of COVID-19 cases in their squad.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia after his team’s 2-0 win over Sampdoria yesterday evening, Bigon stressed that the team had no option but to request the postponement, and reflected on its effects on their season.
The Rossoblu had been all set to host Inter in the first match back from the winter break, but the viability of the match was cast into doubt in the days leading up to its scheduled kickoff.
Italy was experiencing a major surge in COVID cases due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus, and a number of Serie A clubs suffered outbreaks in their squads.
The Rossoblu were one of the hardest-hit clubs during the period, and the day before the match they received an order from the regional health authority in Reggio-Emilia not to train or play until the outbreak was contained.
The match was not officially postponed by the league and so the Nerazzurri showed up at the stadium, but the Rossoblu were not there for the kickoff.
It was then officially ruled by the league in February that the match would be postponed rather than cancelled outright and awarded as a win to Inter, and it is now scheduled for later this month, though this is still subject to an appeal.
For Bigon, it was always inevitable that the match would have to be pushed back due to the unfortunate circumstances caused by the pandemic, though he feels that it had a negative effect on their season.
“We were all dreaming,” he said, “we were hoping that we could get a bit more out of the season. A season can only be looked back on as a whole, at the end.”
“We finished the first round of fixtures with 27 points, winning 3-0 at Sassuolo and setting a record for Bologna in the last twenty years,” he added.
“We took a week’s holiday at Christmas and came back with ten positive cases,” he recalled. “We asked for the suspension of the match against Inter, they put us in quarantine for five days and then they got us back for the away match at Cagliari.”