Mancini calls up three more for Italy after coronavirus concerns

·2 min read
Hellas Verona midfielder Mattia Zaccagni joins the Italy squad for the first time
Hellas Verona midfielder Mattia Zaccagni joins the Italy squad for the first time

Italy coach Roberto Mancini on Monday called up three more players as cover for his squad which has been hit by coronavirus withdrawals ahead of their Nations League games, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said.

Uncapped Hellas Verona midfielder Mattia Zaccagni has been summoned for the first time and is joined by defenders Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan) and Gian Marco Ferrari (Sassuolo).

They join the squad as cover for West Ham centre-back Angelo Ogbonna, who has a groin injury, AC Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli, Genoa left-back Domenico Criscito and Sassuolo forward Francesco Caputo.

Several Italian clubs, such as Lazio, Roma and Fiorentina, are in isolation and the health authorities in their respective regions have not yet authorised players to leave and join up with the national team.

"We are the only federation in Europe with a problem of this sort," said FIGC president Gabriele Gravina, lamenting the lack of uniformity across the various regions. 

The three internationals from Sassuolo, also in isolation after positive cases of Covid-19 within the club, should be able to join the squad Tuesday evening, according to the federation. 

Of the 41 players summoned by Mancini for the friendly against Estonia on Wednesday and the subsequent Nations League fixtures against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina, only 18 have been able to join the squad in Florence on Monday. 

A dozen others are expected from Tuesday evening, having obtained 48 hours of rest because they play in clubs involved in the European cups. 

Mancini himself is currently in quarantine after contracting Covid-19 and will lead the Azzurri remotely at least until the weekend. 

Italy, undefeated for 19 matches, are second in their Nations League group one point behind Poland, after draws in Poland and against the Netherlands last month.

alu/rbo/bsp/mw/dmc