TEAM FRANCE QUARANTINED: GAME CANCELLED!
COVID-19 strikes again and this time the most important day for Italian American football. Team France announced this morning that it cannot play this evening’s semifinal against Italy at Garilli Stadium in Piacenza as a number of players on the team have tested positive.
The long-awaited European Championship semifinal game between Italy and France will not go ahead. Both federations were forced to make this decision after COVID-19 testing revealed a number of positive cases among members of the French team.
Team France’s Development Director Pierre Trochet emailed to announce that it was with great regret that the team had some positive cases following regular testing before leaving for Piacenza. The French have been at a training camp in Reggio Emilia for the past week and had completed the run-up to the European semifinal game without any problems despite having to cope with t wo completely cancelled seasons (no championships were allowed to be played in France in 2020 and 2021). In addition to being hugely damaging for the FIDAF, which has worked long and very hard to organize such a major event, cancellation of the game against Italy will probably prevent France from defending the European title which it won in 2018. IFAF, the International Federation, will now review the situation relating to the cancellation of the fixture and will determine the next steps for the nation’s involved. The winner will play for the European Championship against the winner of today’s game between Finland and Sweden in Vantaa, Finland.
“There is immense regret for what has happened,” said Team Italy’s HC Davide Giuliano in reaction to the news. “We were ready and I never had any doubt that we could have won this game today. The Federation and the team have channeled a massive amount of work into being ready for this challenge, so having to give up the chance to play is soul-crushing.”
“Testing has confirmed some positive cases,” said Pierre Trochet. “We have implemented a health protocol with our Embassy and the French Ministry for Sport and we are organizing the safe return to France for the entire delegation.”
We are currently waiting for official news from the IFAF about the continuation of the European Championship, and the FIDAF will soon make an announcement about how to request a refund for tickets and live streaming fees.