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Championship is back In Italy

In the wake of Germany, Spain and England, Italy returned to its football championship on Saturday, after more than three months of interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic, which killed more than 34,000 people in the country.

The first goal of this new Serie A phase, 103 days after Sassuolo-Brescia on March 9, was scored by Nicolas Nkoulou for Torino, in his team's draw against Parma (1-1).

After scoring, the Cameroonian defender pointed a finger and looking up at the sky before putting a knee on the ground, obviously in tribute to George Floyd, the African-American whose death after his arrest by the police on May 25 protests against racism around the world.

This gesture had already been made by several footballers since the resumption of competitions in Europe, including the French striker Mönchengladbach Marcus Thuram.

Nkoulou's goal, passed through Marseille and Lyon before joining the Torino, was scored from the head in the 16th minute. Kucka equalized for Parma in the 31st minute and Belotti then missed a penalty for the Torino, who remains 15th. Parma on its side climbs to 7th place.

This restart match started in an astonishing way since after barely five seconds of play, the game was briefly interrupted, the ball being apparently badly inflated.

Previously, the players and the referees gathered around the central circle had observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the coronavirus. On the shirt of the Torino players, we could read this inscription: "Thank you to all our heroes".

At 9:45 p.m., another late match of the 25th day is scheduled, between Hellas Verona (9th) and Cagliari (12th).
After the four late matches of the 25th day to be played this weekend, the 27th day will then be held on Monday.

Last week, football had already restarted in Italy with the end of the National Cup. Two return semi-finals were organized last weekend and the final, won by Naples against Juventus, was held behind closed doors in Rome on Wednesday.

All the championship matches remaining to be played are also planned behind closed doors, even if the governing bodies of calcio and the clubs hope to be able to partially open the stadiums to the public before the end of the season, scheduled for 2 August.

Among the main European championships, only the French Ligue 1 has been definitively interrupted.

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