Italy Gives Green Light To Resume Coppa Italia & Serie A Fixturesby Chloe Beresford
A fall in cases of COVID-19 in Italy has seen the government give the go-ahead that will allow Serie A clubs to resume action from June 13. Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora met on Thursday with the FIGC, Lega Serie A, Players’ Association, and Association of Italian Sports Medics, and it was agreed that action could begin once again, the last match having been played on March 9.
“We worked only with one thought: what is best for football and defending its future, which for Serie A means returning to being the most beautiful league in the world," league president Paolo Dal Pino told reporters after the announcement had been made.
“Only with this spirit can we repay the passion and enthusiasm of millions of fans who follow our sport.”
Italian FA chief Gabriele Gravina—who has consistently been a strong advocate of resuming the league—was also pleased that an agreement had been reached after the meeting.
“The return of Calcio represents a message of hope for the entire country,” revealed the chief.
“I am happy and satisfied with the outcome. It’s a success we share with the Minister for Sport Spadafora and the entire federation."
Plans for fixtures are reportedly being finalised on Friday, with the idea being that the Coppa Italia semi-finals and final will be held between June 13-17 with AC Milan, Juventus, Inter and Napoli in contention. Then, on June 20, Serie A will begin, as the league will likely look to dedicate the opening fixtures to those teams who have a game in hand on the rest.
The opening round of Serie A would therefore see matches between Atalanta-Sassuolo, Verona-Cagliari, Inter-Sampdoria and Torino-Parma, and clubs would then play two matches per week from Round 27 onwards in order to complete the season by August 2.
Italy joins both Germany and England in allowing soccer to begin again, yet the medical protocol for Serie A will be different from its European counterparts. The CTS (technical science committee) has only agreed to allowing the sport to re-start with an agreement that a club's entire squad goes into quarantine for 14 days should there be a COVID-19 positive test on a single player from that squad.
This stricter framework could conceivably bring the action to a close once again if too many squads are placed under quarantine. Then, according to Spadafora, alternatives such as play-offs or even a complete cancellation of the remaining fixtures would become a possibility.