The Prime Minister’s Decree dated 9 March 2020 has suspended all sports’ events and competitions.
The sports facilities can be used only behind closed doors to allow the training sessions of professional and non-professional athletes (i.e. athletes recognized as being of national interest by CONI and the respective federations).
Sports associations and clubs, through their medical staff, must implement appropriate controls to contain the risk of propagation of the COVID-19 among athletes, technicians, managers and all other persons involved.
On 17 March 2020, the Italian Government issued the Law Decree no. 18 containing measures to support the National Health Service and economic support for families, workers and business related to the epidemiological COVID-19 emergency, adopting some specific economic measures also for the sport field.
- Article 61 provides that payments of withholding tax, social security contributions, and the mandatory insurance premiums to be made by national sports federations, sports promotion bodies, sport associations, amateur sports clubs and for those who manage stadiums, sports facilities, gyms, clubs, dance and fitness center and swimming pools, are suspended until 31 May 2020. Such payments mentioned above shall be made either in a lump sum by 30 June 2020 without the application of penalties or interests, or in a maximum of 5 monthly installments, starting from June 2020.
- Article 95 provides the suspension from 17 March to 31 May 2020 of the rent payment for public sports facilities owned by the Italian State (and by local authorities) remained unused during this period. In any case, the rent for the mentioned months shall be paid out either in a lump sum by 30 June 2020 without the application of penalties or interests, or in a maximum of 5 monthly installments, starting from June 2020. Moreover, the provision doesn’t apply to lease agreements for private facilities.
- Article 96 provides the payment by Sport e Salute S.p.A. (former Coni Servizi S.p.A. owned by the Ministry of Economy) of an indemnity of 600 euros for the month of March 2020 in favor sport collaborators with VAT number and to holders of a non-fixed term employment contract registered to the so called “gestione separata” Inps as of 23 February 2020, provided that they are not retired and not registered with other forms of mandatory social security, they didn’t get any other wage and/or indemnity.
Remainder understood that the all other provisions of the Law Decree no. 18/2020 apply also to the operators in the world of sports, where applicable (i.e. Ordinary Wage Guarantee Fund, etc.).
For the time being, Sport e Salute S.p.A. set aside a fund of 50 million euros but needless to say that this provision is not sufficient to cover the payment in full of the mentioned indemnities due to the considerable number of workers employed in the associations and sports clubs registered with the CONI.
Furthermore, it is necessary that the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance provides for the procedures for filing the relevant applications and it determines the rules for the management and control of the fund (expected within 1 April 2020).
Concerning European competitions, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) decided to postpone the final match of UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s Champions League, all originally scheduled for May 2020.
UEFA, also, announced the postponement of its flagship national teams’ tournament, UEFA EURO 2020 until next year. UEFA stated that the reasons of postponement are: i) the protection of the health of all those involved in the game; ii) the avoidance of placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches; and iii) the postponement should help all domestic competitions, currently put on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.
In a note dated 17 March 2020, the representatives of the 55 national member federations, as well as representatives of the European Association of Clubs, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, reiterated that given the health emergency, the plan adopted is the best solution.
Announcing the above decisions, the Chairman of UEFA Aleksander Čeferin said: “We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism”.
In the same view, FIFA decided to postpone the FIFA Club World Cup, which should have had taken place in June/July 2020, to a date to be set in the international match calendar which has to include also the new dates for CONMEBOL Copa América and UEFA EURO tournaments.
Finally, the IOC Chairman and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that XXXII Olympic Games in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.