Italy manager Lippi planning to tackle swine flu threat

ITALY may be within touching distance of sealing a place in next year’s World Cup finals at South Africa but manager Marcello Lippi is leaving nothing to chance.

A draw with Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland at Croke Park next month will be enough to see Italy book their tickets for the finals and Lippi is determined to ensure there will be no late hiccups.

Lippi wants every player in Serie A vaccinated against swine flu to avert the threat of an epidemic sweeping through the domestic game. Lippi said: “It’s time now to consider seriously the idea of vaccinating every player in our leagues. The dangers of contagion must be taken seriously. I have discussed this with our medical staff. The risk is not so much to the long-term health of any particular individual player but of a very rapid spread throughout our game of this illness.

“Players mix together in close contact in the dressing rooms and football itself, anyway, is a contact sport. Swine flu is highly contagious. We have to take this issue seriously and act responsibly.”


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