De Zerbi: ‘Sassuolo decided to protect the squad’

Roberto De Zerbi said Sassuolo ‘made the right decision’ to leave out Manuel Locatelli and Gian Marco Ferrari after the COVID outbreak in the Italy squad.

The two Italy internationals will not play against Roma tomorrow, as the Neroverdi have decided to protect their team group against a possible outbreak.

Cases of coronavirus have emerged in the Italy squad after the World Cup Qualifiers, but the two Sassuolo stars have tested negative.

De Zerbi revealed the Neroverdi have decided to take no risks and have left the duo out of the squad against Roma on Saturday.

“The decision to oust Locatelli and Ferrari was a shared choice between me, the club and the medical staff,” De Zerbi said at a press conference.

“A strong choice made with firmness and great conviction. The easy thing could be to say that ‘Locatelli and Ferrari are positive’.

“No, they are negative to date but they have had contact the Italy team group where an outbreak has emerged. We felt it was right to go beyond personal work interests to protect our health, the team group at Sassuolo and the families.

“Even yesterday, in Italy, there were many deaths. We behave following our conscience. It wasn’t fair for a football match to be able to take home additional health problems.

“A strong but correct stance, seeing how the ASL of Turin and Milan behaved, rightly so, when the matches were suspended.

“We made a right choice, I don’t want to review what others would have done or are doing, we have to think about us, without others entering into our decisions.

“Tomorrow, Sassuolo will still have at least 11 players on the pitch worthy of playing the game well and I don’t understand why this fuss is created about a wise, logical decision, which penalises us, if it penalises someone, not the others.”

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