Coronavirus has disrupted the sporting world more than any other single cause since the Second World War.
Football matches had to stop for a number of months, and stadia have not been at full capacity ever since.
Like any club, Roma have been affected by the virus.
The following timeline details the most significant events related to Roma and Covid-19.
Sport halts in Italy
With Italy being the first European country to really suffer the effects of the virus, the country entered lockdown on March 9th. It meant that all sporting events, including Serie A, Serie A Femminile and the Campionato Primavera, had to be postponed for at least one month – but it eventually took longer for things to get back up and running.
Europa League tie postponed
Travel restrictions between Spain and Italy led to the first leg of the Round of 16 Europa League tie between Sevilla and Roma being postponed. It would later be rescheduled as a one-off game in August, which Roma lost.
Serie A Femminile cancelled
While the men’s team were able to re-start their season, there was no such fate for Roma Women. The Serie A Femminile season was cancelled with six games still to play – as well as the Coppa Italia Femminile. Roma were just one point away from a Champions League space at the time of the cancellation.
Campionato Primavera cancelled
Just like the women’s team, the under-19s were aslo unable to finish their season. The Primavera championship was cancelled on June 17th, just a week before the senior Serie A season was due to recommence. A points-per-game formula determined the final standings, with Roma finishing sixth.
Serie A resumes behind closed doors
Roma’s first team were able to conclude their 2019-20 season, but fans could not attend the remaining matches. The first game back saw Roma defeat Sampdoria 2-1 thanks to a pair of Edin Dzeko volleys on June 24th. The Serie A season concluded with a 3-1 win at Juventus on August 1st, before the Europa League game against Sevilla – at a neutral venue in Germany – five days later.
Two Primavera players test positive
While several clubs had had confirmed cases by this point, Roma had not. However, they confirmed that two anonymous players from the Primavera had tested positive for the virus, shortly before pre-season training was scheduled to begin.
Antonio Mirante tests positive
One day later, Roma had their first case of Covid-19 in the first team. Goalkeeper Antonio Mirante announced via social media that he had tested positive for the virus, and hence had to miss the start of pre-season while he was in quarantine.
Carles Perez tests positive
On the day Roma returned for Covid-19 checks before pre-season, one player immediately produced a positive result. Winger Carles Perez had to isolate, despite having no symptoms.
First pre-season training session cancelled as Bruno Peres tests positive
The following day, Roma were due to undergo their first training session of pre-season. However, they had to cancel it, because full-back Bruno Peres tested positive for the virus. He was also asymptomatic.
Justin Kluivert tests positive
Later that day, Roma had a fourth case of coronavirus in their first team. Winger Justin Kluivert also tested positive for the virus, but made no official announcement.
Positive Czech case delays Patrik Schick sale
Coronavirus also affected Roma’s transfer activity during the summer window. For example, striker Patrik Schick was due to undergo a medical with Bayer Leverkusen, but it was delayed due to a member of the Czech Republic camp he was on international duty with testing positive for the virus. Schick, who was negative, eventually completed his move to Leverkusen five days later.
Mirante tests negative
The first player to contract the virus was also the first to recover. Mirante confirmed he was able to return 15 days before the first game of the season, which he eventually played in.
Carles Perez tests negative
After undergoing a period of isolation, Perez was able to return to training after testing negative 11 days before the first game of the new season.
Kluivert tests negative
Kluivert subsequently returned a negative test on September 14th, allowing him to return to training. He made two appearances in the new season before leaving for RB Leipzig on loan.
Bruno Peres tests negative
Fonseca was also able to call on the services of Bruno Peres again just in time for the new season. The right-back tested negative three days before the season began. He did not play in the first game, but has since returned to action on the pitch.
Fans allowed back into stadia in minimal capacity
After Roma’s first game of the season had been played behind closed doors, the president of the Lazio region cleared the way for 1,000 fans to return to the stadium for their upcoming matches. Three days later, a small portion of fans returned to Stadio Olimpico for a game against Juventus, which ended as a draw. Further games against Udinese and Benevento in Seire A, and Young Boys in the Europa League, also saw 1,000 fans present, with social distancing measures in place.
Amadou Diawara tests positive on international duty
The first player to test positive while the season was underway was Amadou Diawara. He contracted the virus while on international duty with Guinea. The 23-year-old midfielder tested positive on October 12th, by which time he had played in two games. He then entered a period of quarantine.
Riccardo Calafiori tests positive
Just over two months since making his senior Roma debut, Riccardo Calafiori’s hopes of more first team opportunities halted on October 18th, when he tested positive for the virus. The young left-back went into isolation.
Gianluca Mancini tests positive
Roma’s preparation for a big game against Milan was disrupted by the news that defender Gianluca Mancini had tested positive three days before the game. However, he felt fine.
Mancini tests negative
Just one day later, Mancini returned two swab tests that were both negative. Hence, it appeared his positive test was in fact an error. Therefore, he was able to play against Milan.
Games return to being played behind closed doors
As fears of a second wave began to materialise, new measures came in to protect the public. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed games would have to occur without any fans again. The first match to be played behind closed doors again was against Milan on October 26th.
Women’s Primavera Championship postponed
While the 2020-21 season had been able to commence, it soon halted for Roma Women’s eldest academy group. The under-19s had won their league the season before, beating Juventus in a final to determine the champion after winning all their games before the league stopped. It was a brief time of celebration, though, as shortly into the new season, the league was indefinitely postponed on October 29th.
Roma Women cup game postponed after three positive tests
Roma Women’s senior team were meant to commence their Coppa Italia campaign on November 1st, after the league had got underway. However, their game against Roma CF was postponed after three members of the coaching staff tested positive. It would eventually take place in January after three further postponements.
Kaja Erzen tests positive
Separately, Kaja Erzen became the first Roma Women player to have the virus. The full-back tested positive while on international duty with Slovenia. Asymptomatic, she had not had contact with any of her club teammates.
Campionato Primavera pauses
Roma’s Primavera had started the season in spectacular fashion, leading the way in their league after winning all six of their opening games. However, their good spell of form paused when the Campionato Primavera 1 announced its postponement until December 3rd. The decision also affected Primavera Cup games. The suspension was later extended until January 23rd.
Edin Dzeko tests positive
Roma received their biggest blow yet in relation to Covid-19 when captain Edin Dzeko became the first of a large number of first team players to test positive in early November. The striker had to self-isolate, missing Roma’s game against Genoa before the international break.
Pietro Boer tests positive
The spate of cases continued when Primavera goalkeeper Pietro Boer, who had been travelling with the senior squad, also tested positive before the Genoa match. All other players, other than Dzeko, Diawara and Calafiori, were negative at the time.
Three positive cases in one day
After that Genoa game, and just before the international break, three more players tested positive. Midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini and defenders Davide Santon and Federico Fazio all contracted the virus. Pellegrini reported mild symptoms, Santon said he was feeling well and Fazio made no comments.
Marash Kumbulla tests positive
One day later, another first team defender, Marash Kumbulla, also confirmed he had the virus, but was asymptomatic. Thus, the number of senior Roma players out at the same time with Covid-19 rose to five – Dzeko, Pellegrini, Santon, Fazio and Kumbulla. By this point, 11 first team players in total had tested positive for the virus at some point: Mirante, Peres, Santon, Fazio, Kumbulla, Calafiori, Diawara, Pellegrini, Perez, Kluivert and Dzeko.
Roma players blocked from international break
Despite the rest of the squad testing negative, local health authorities took the decision to ban Roma players from travelling to their countries for the international break. That meant the likes of Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante (Italy) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia) stayed in Rome.
Amadou Diawara returns to training
While all the focus about Diawara was on the unsucessful outcome of Roma’s appeal against their punishment for including him in the wrong squad list at the start of the season, the midfielder brought some good news by returning to training after his recovery. The attention immediately turned to being available for Roma’s first game back from the international break, against Parma 11 days later.
Riccardo Calafiori returns to training
As Roma continued training during the international break, Calafiori was also able to return to the group after recovering from the virus.
Kaja Erzen tests negative
There was a welcome boost for Roma Women when Erzen recovered from the virus. She was still in Slovenia, so did not return to Italy in time to play against Milan, but will be able to link up with her teammates again.
Nicola Zalewski tests positive
While the remainder of the first team squad stayed at Trigoria, another Primavera player on the cusp of a breakthrough tested positive. Young forward Nicola Zalewski announced he was asymptomatic on November 14th, but had to self-isolate as a precaution.
Pellegrini tests negative
As Roma prepared to come back from the international break, some good news arrived from Lorenzo Pellegrini. The midfielder tested negative again, meaning he could focus on getting back on the pitch. He did not clarify if he would be available for the first game back against Parma. However, Edin Dzeko, Marash Kumbulla, Federico Fazio and Davide Santon all remained out.
Dzeko tests negative
After missing the first game back from the break, Edin Dzeko gave Roma another boost by confirming he had recovered from the virus one day after that match.
Federico Fazio and Davide Santon test negative
The next players to recover were Federico Fazio and Davide Santon. The defenders tested negative one day before Roma’s Europa League game against Cluj. It was too early for them to make that game, leaving Roma with a crisis in defence, but they would return for the following matches.
Marash Kumbulla tests negative
The defence received a further boost when Marash Kumbulla’s period of isolation ended after a negative test.
Pietro Boer tests negative
The next player to make his recovery from the virus was young goalkeeper Pietro Boer.
Campionato Primavera postponement extends
One day before the suspension of the Campionato Primavera was due to lapse, it was announced that the under-19 league would remain on pause until January 10th, 2021. Like the original postponement, this also affected Primavera cup games.
Nicola Zalewski tests negative
Roma were back to a clean bill of health – at least on the Covid-19 front – when Zalewski recovered in the second week of December. The winger was able to re-join the senior squad.
Tiago Pinto tests positive
Roma recently confirmed the appointment of Tiago Pinto as their new general manager. He was due to start work from January 1st, 2021, but his arrival in Rome had to wait a few days after he tested positive for the virus.
Nicolo Zaniolo tests positive
The first Roma player to test positive for coronavirus in 2021 was Nicolo Zaniolo. Working his way back from injury at the time, he did not report any symptoms, but would have to stay away from Trigoria for the time being.
Stephan El Shaarawy tests positive
On January 22nd, reports emerged that Stephan El Shaarawy had agreed a deal to rejoin Roma, and was due for a medical the next day. However, like Pinto’s arrival, that had to wait, as he tested positive for the virus upon his return to Italy. He was eventually able to sign for the club on January 30th.
Nicolo Zaniolo tests negative
Roma returned to a clean bill of health on the Covid-19 front when Nicolo Zaniolo’s period of isolation ended on February 8th, allowing him to step up his recovery from his ACL injury.
Juan Jesus enters isolation
As Roma prepared to face Fiorentina on March 3rd, Juan Jesus had to leave the travelling party after being in contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19. The defender entered isolation, but the whole squad tested negative and the game could go ahead.
Juan Jesus tests positive
One week after being in contact with someone who had tested positive, Jesus himself returned a positive test – thus keeping him out of action for even longer.
Juan Jesus tests negative
Jesus returned to full health during the March international break.
Italy introduces green pass system
As the public began to think about their hopes of returning to stadiums, the Italian authorities announced the introduction of the green pass system, which means people will only be able to enter stadiums if they are vaccinated or have had a negative test within 48 hours. Some of Roma’s first pre-season friendlies for 2021 were open to reduced capacity crowds.
Paloma Lazaro tests positive
Just as it seemed the sporting world was beginning to put Covid behind in the rear-view mirror – even if the world as a whole hasn’t – a case struck a Roma player just as pre-season was about to commence. Paloma Lazaro was forced to miss the first Roma Women training camp under new coach Alessandro Spugna as a result of a positive test. She recovered in time to play in a friendly against Atletico Madrid on August 20th.
All players but one vaccinated
As the authorities stepped up their efforts to vaccinate the population to ensure a safe return to football and general life, it was revealed by Pagine Romaniste that all but one of the players in the Roma squad had had at least one dose of a vaccine. The one who has not was not named, but is expected to at a later date.
Fans return to Serie A stadia
The beginning of the new season also marked the return of fans to stadia. Although not at full capacity due to some restrictions remaining, Roma were able to welcome a significant portion of fans back for their season opener against Fiorentina. The allocation of tickets was at 28,000, with up to 3,000 guests.