Eight Italian players hit by swine flu

MILAN - Eight players at Italian third division soccer club Lucchese have caught H1N1 swine flu after plans to vaccinate the squad were delayed.

"I think that after two days of high fever and one day of rest, the players can return to training even if they are tired," Lucchese doctor Riccardo Malfatti told Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Italian authorities are considering vaccinating all athletes competing in February's Winter Olympics in Vancouver but so far a decision on football players has been left up to individual clubs.

Football teams in England and France have also been affected by the virus.