'It would be pure madness' - Brescia owner Massimo Cellino condemns plans to resume Serie A

Cellino threatens to forfeit remaining games out of respect to coronavirus victims

BRESCIA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 09:  Brescia Calcio President Massimo Cellino looks on during the Serie A match between Brescia Calcio and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Mario Rigamonti on February 9, 2020 in Brescia, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
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Brescia owner Massimo Cellino believes resuming Serie A this season would be "pure madness" and he is willing to forfeit all the club's remaining games.

There have been discussions in Italy over whether the 2019-20 season will return, and when, but Cellino is adamant it should be abandoned over the ongoing coronavirus threat.

Italy has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and Cellino was emphatic.

"This season no longer makes sense. We stopped, no team will return as before, the stadiums will be behind closed doors, plus there is a risk for the health of the players," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“For me, returning to playing the games is pure madness.

“If it happens, they are forcing me to be prepared to not send the team out and to lose every game 3-0 out of respect for the citizens of Brescia and their loved ones who are no longer there."

The former owner of English Championship club Leeds United also had criticism for Uefa, who have postponed indefinitely all Champions League and Europa League fixtures, and all international friendlies which had been scheduled for June.

“It can’t be avoided: the season ends on the June 30 deadline for the presentation of club budgets and player contracts,” he said.

“They are arrogant and irresponsible: they only think about their economic interests and the cups.

“But, for the Italian championship, Uefa decides that, to resume, it must end by June? Are we going to play every other day? Or does UEFA also have the power to stretch their days and make them 72 hours long?

“If you want to do something with Uefa's profits, send oxygen cylinders and respirators to Brescia. We would be grateful.

"I speak for Brescia. Here we have trucks that transport the dead. We are at the centre of the epidemic.

“In any case, the players would come from 45 days of total inactivity, it would take a month of training just to get them back in shape. Otherwise they risk everyone getting injured.”

Cellino has been criticised by Lazio president Claudio Lotito, who suggested he wanted the season abandoned because Brescia are bottom of the table.

Lotito has seen his side involved in a title race with Juventus and is desperate to give them the opportunity to fight for the title.

"'You don't want to play to save yourself' – Lotito shouted these words at me. He will do everything because he thinks he can win the championship," added Cellino.

"I don't give a damn about coming back. I make a general plea. Concluding the season in June is impossible.

"To prolong the season you would have to change all national and international rules: player contracts, balance sheets, deadlines with banks, transfer market, preparation, start of the new season. It would be absolute chaos."