Ciro Immobile believes that Serie A’s footballers need to think about those who earn less from the game during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With world football at a standstill due to the coronavirus, a number of people employed around clubs have already lost jobs and countless others are facing uncertainty and financial trouble.
“There’s only a small part of Serie A with problems, but I think about Serie B, Serie C and all of the other people around football,” Immobile told Lazio’s own media channels.
“We have to think about the wellbeing of people who work around footballers but don’t earn like we do.
“Some earn €1,000 a month but now they don’t even have that… I’m thinking about the journalists too.”
The 30-year-old is keen to get back to work when it’s safe to do so, but his desire isn’t based on Lazio’s position in the Scudetto race nor his standing at the top of the scoring charts.
“People tell me that I want to start playing again because I’m the top scorer,” he said, “but I couldn’t care less about that.
“Like everyone, I want to get back to work, but it’s not because we’re second in the table.”
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Sunday that individual sport can be practiced publicly from May, but professional sports centres will remain closed, meaning Immobile and his teammates will be left to run in the city’s streets.
A number of Serie A players have spoken out in disagreement of this move, including Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi and club president Claudio Lotito.
“I agree with Lotito,” Immobile said.
“It’s crazy that I can go with [Edin] Dzeko to run but not to Formello, where there are six pitches and I can run alone.
“There are also four entrances and four exits, so we could go without meeting our teammates.
“As the AIC [Italy’s Players’ Association] said, it’s a discriminatory act.
“A lot of players are going through this alone and I’m sorry that they don’t have families with them.
“I hope we can start again, because it will also distract people a bit at this hard time, but we want to start with maximum safety and with the state’s permission.”