Ronaldo debut & rest of Serie A to go ahead as Genoa & Sampdoria games postponed over bridge collapse

Lega Serie A has confirmed that, while Genoa and Sampdoria’s season-openers have been postponed due to the tragic Ponte Morandi bridge collapse on Tuesday, the remainder of the weekend’s games will go ahead as scheduled.

At least 38 people died and up to 15 others were injured when a large section of an overhead motorway gave way during stormy conditions in Genoa, resulting in dozens of vehicles falling approximately 148 feet (45 metres) on to the railway lines, river and warehouses below. 

A state of emergency has since been declared, as rescuers continue to look for survivors, while Saturday has been declared a national day of mourning, on which funerals of many of the victims are set to be held.

Massimo Ferrero, the president of Sampdoria, one of the city’s two top-flight clubs, had called for all of this weekend’s Serie A games to be postponed as a mark of respect but only the Blucerchiati’s clash with Fiorentina at the Luigi Ferraris, and Genoa’s meeting with AC Milan at San Siro have been called off.

However, while the eight other fixtures will go ahead, it was confirmed in a Lega Serie A statement released on Thursday that, “in memory of the victims of Genoa, one minute of silence will be observed before kick-off and the teams will take to the field with black armbands.”

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Despite his earlier request, Ferrero voiced his support for the league’s decision. 

“I thank president Gaetano Micciche and all of Serie A for the sensitivity shown to Sampdoria and its fans,” read a statement from the Samp supremo.

“Postponing the games Sampdoria-Fiorentina and Milan-Genoa represents an important act of solidarity that Genoa and the Genoese people, who are living days of profound pain and sincere astonishment, will not forget.

“It is also right that the rest of Serie A goes ahead and starts in other stadiums: that takes nothing away from the sense of closeness and fraternity that all of Italy showed it has in its soul as a nation that gets back on its feet every time.

“Genoa will get back on its feet again too: stronger, more secure and even more beautiful.”

Serie A’s decision to proceed with the other games means that the 2018-19 campaign will kick off on Saturday at 5pm BST (12pm ET) with Chievo hosting reigning champions Juventus, who are expected to give a debut to star summer signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

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