News ID: 269511
Published: 0229 GMT May 27, 2020

Serie A meeting Italian government to discover fate of season

Serie A meeting Italian government to discover fate of season
REUTERS

Serie A's hopes of following Germany and Spain back onto the pitch will be decided on Thursday in a meeting with the Italian government which will determine the fate of the season in Italy.

Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora will tell representatives from the Italian Football Federation and Lega Serie A if the health conditions are right to return to action after nearly three months, AFP reported.

The season has been on hold since March 9 when it was halted as coronavirus infections spread rapidly in Italy. The pandemic has killed almost 33,000 people in the country.

Clubs returned to group training on May 19 but competitive action remains suspended until mid-June.

The indications are that Spadafora and the government's Scientific Technical Committee will agree to both implementing a health protocol and to resume the season.

If there is a green light on Thursday, Lega Serie A will meet Friday to examine "the different calendar hypotheses" for the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches.

The league wants competition to resume on the weekend of June 13-14, starting with four postponed fixtures – Atalanta-Sassuolo, Verona-Cagliari, Inter Milan-Sampdoria and Torino-Parma.

They hope the season will resume fully on June 20, with the goal of awarding the league title, defining promotions and relegations, before playing Italian Cup semifinals, with the final in early August.

The closing stages of the European club competitions could also be played in August. Three Italian clubs are still in the Champions League and two in the Europa League.

 

'Risking safety'

 

But not everyone agrees with a return to the pitch and the packed schedule required with teams needing to play three matches a week, in hot summer conditions.

Brescia and Torino, situated in the northern regions of Lombardy and Piedmont respectively, which accounted for nearly 60 percent of Italy's COVID-19 deaths, have consistently opposed to a return.

"To finish this championship is forcing it in my opinion," Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello said this week.

"It's risking the safety of the players."

Brescia is sitting last in the league, and has nothing to gain by concluding this nightmare season.

Torino president Urbano Cairo, whose club is 15th, would also gladly abandon the season.

"I bow to the majority choice," said Cairo, voicing his concerns over "the short time between the end of this season and the start of the next one," scheduled for September 1.

AC Milan's Swedish froward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the big stars of the championship, has already suffered a calf injury in training, and could be out for a month.

"I think it's chaos," said Italy coach Roberto Mancini.

"If I were to speak only as a coach, I would prefer it to stop and start calmly next season.

"There is going to be an endless series of matches and I don't know what state the players will be in."

On Friday, the 'Plan B' will also be analyzed at the Lega Serie A meeting, a format with short playoffs to determine the title, European places and relegation, if the season is again suspended, or all the matches not played.

But one team which has been anxious to return to the pitch is Lazio.

The Roman club was just one point behind leader Juventus when the season was suspended, and within touching distance of the third Scudetto in the club's 120-year history.

 

 

 

   
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