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Serie A Postpone Opening Fixture

Serie A has postponed the weekend’s opening Serie A fixtures involving Genovese clubs Genoa and Sampdoria following the bridge collapse that killed at least 39 people in the Ligurian city on Tuesday, after calls to postpone all the league’s games.

Sampdoria were due to host Fiorentina on Sunday evening while Genoa were scheduled to travel to AC Milan, but both games will now be played at a later date, the Lega Serie A announced on Thursday.

A minute’s silence will also be held at the weekend’s other eight Serie A grounds ahead of the start of the new season, and players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect after the collapse, in which a further 10-20 people have also been reported missing.

The 2018-19 Serie A season is still scheduled to kick off with Juventus’ visit to Chievo on Saturday in what will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s competitive debut for his new club since his blockbuster summer from Real Madrid.

But Italy has declared Saturday an official day of mourning across the country, with several funerals due to take place, and Sampdoria’s Massimo Ferrera said before the league’s announcement that Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta had assured him the Bianconeri would not be playing this weekend.

“I’m calling the [club] presidents so we can say we don’t have to play,” Ferrero told RMC Sport. “I’m sure that [Lega Serie A President Gaetano] Micciche won’t play. I spoke to Marotta and he said Juventus won’t play. It’s Saturday, you can’t play on the day of the funerals.

“Sampdoria and Fiorentina won’t play, [Genoa President Enrico] Preziosi won’t play so Milan won’t either. Regardless of the Lega’s decision, Samp, Genoa and Fiorentina will not play and we hope good sense will prevail.

“Micciche is evaluating the situation and I am sure he will welcome my appeal, he is a good man. I can’t think of celebrating at a time like this, there are still bodies there under the rubble, I can’t think of sending my lads on to the pitch.

“Sport is a culture, a life. Sometimes you have to stop for a moment and reflect. Maybe Sunday could be a message that life goes on, but everyone thinks in his own way. As far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t play.”

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