Serie A COVID chaos: Inter Milan chief fumes after Bologna fail to turn up with team in quarantine

Inter Milan's Serie A game at Bologna descended into farce on Thursday as the hosts failed to turn up after the team were placed into quarantine.

Rising COVID-19 cases in the Bologna squad meant the local health authority (ASL) placed the team into quarantine for 7-10 days from Wednesday, meaning they could not take part in their scheduled home clash with Inter, which was meant to kick off at 12.30 p.m local time on Thursday.

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Rising COVID-19 cases in Bologna's squad led the local health authority (ASL) to place the team into quarantine for 7-10 days from Wednesday, meaning they could not play against Inter in a match scheduled for 1130 GMT.

With Serie A refusing to cancel matches, Inter were forced to turn up and train before the game, as normal, with officials even tasked with inspecting the pitch despite there being no sign of any Bologna players.

Serie A rules state that Inter are set to be awarded a 3-0 victory pending any appeal by Bologna.

However, Inter director Beppe Marotta, who was in attendance in Bologna, said the system was not working.

"The situation is chaotic," he told Sky Sport Italia. "Games have been postponed by local health authorities who decided independently.

"Bologna were ready to play and they suffered the situation from ASL which have taken this decision to protect everyone's health, but clarity is missing. I would limit the ASL's power, otherwise we'll always face similar situations in the future."

Following another Serie A meeting on Thursday, the league released a statement saying a new protocol would be put in place stipulating that teams must fulfil their fixtures if they have 13 fit players born before Dec. 31, 2003.

Clubs can pick players from their first team and youth side who have tested negative at least 24 hours before a game.

The club who do not show up for a match will be deducted one point while the team who attend will be awarded a 3-0 victory.

Juventus were initially awarded a 3-0 win after similar scenes last season against Napoli.

Napoli, however, successfully appealed the decision to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Guarantee Board and the match was played on a different date.

Four games did not take place on Thursday. Bottom side Salernitana were due face Venezia but their local health authority forced the squad into a five-day quarantine.

Udinese and Torino had also been placed in isolation and blocked from travelling to Fiorentina and Atalanta respectively.

Serie A later released a further statement in response to the various health authorities' actions.

"The hope is that the ASL no longer intervene with confused and inconsistent measures which, at the moment, are creating serious damage to the Italian sports system," it read.

"It is hoped the next meeting announced by the Government will finally be able, once and for all, to identify coordination tools of the territorial ASLs and guarantee the correct conduct of the Serie A championship by ensuring a uniform procedure for managing positive situations in the teams."

Valentina Vezzali, Italy's sport undersecretary, said on Thursday she wanted to create a control room that enabled "uniform behaviour of the local health authorities through a national coordination."