AC Milan's Rafael Leao in action with Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella on 21 September 2019
AC Milan's Rafael Leao in action with Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella on 21 September 2019Reuters File Photo

Soccer clubs in Italy's top-flight can resume full training from 18 May, prime minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday, as part of a further easing of restrictions of one of the world's strictest coronavirus lockdowns.

To give a precise date we need to have some more guarantees than those we have at the moment but from what I've been told, we haven't had them yet
Italy PM Conte

Serie A has been suspended since 9 March and a date has not yet been set for the season to re-start, although players have returned to individual training while respecting social distancing rules.

Italy was the first European country to be seriously affected by the coronavirus crisis while Serie A was the first league to play matches without spectators and the first major league to suspend play.

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Conte confirmed that football clubs would return to training on Monday along with other sports teams but could not give any details about when Serie A would resume.

On Saturday, Germany's Bundesliga became the first major European league to re-start since the COVID-19 pandemic obliterated the global sporting calendar.

"There are so many pressures to re-start Serie A but it is necessary that the highest safety conditions are in place," Conte added.

"To give a precise date we need to have some more guarantees than those we have at the moment but from what I've been told, we haven't had them yet."

Juventus were leading the Serie A standings by one point over second-placed Lazio with 12 games remaining when the season was halted in March.

Italy has the third-highest death toll from coronavirus in the world although its daily tally on Saturday fell to 153, the lowest since 9 March.

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