Coronavirus pandemic: From declaring current standings as final to no champion at all, Italian federation debates options for Serie A

All sports events in Italy have been put on hold until 3 April due to the coronavirus outbreak, putting the completion of the Italian football season in doubt

Reuters March 16, 2020 20:04:24 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: From declaring current standings as final to no champion at all, Italian federation debates options for Serie A

Rome: The President of the Italian football federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, said that the 2019/20 Serie A campaign could be spread over two seasons in order to bring the league to a conclusion.

All sports events in Italy have been put on hold until 3 April due to the coronavirus outbreak, putting the completion of the Italian football season in doubt.

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Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Serie A match between Inter Milan and Genoa. AP

At an FIGC meeting on 10 March, the body confirmed that the option of holding playoffs to decide the champion and relegated teams was being considered, as well as declaring the current standings as final or not declaring a champion at all.

But with Italy in complete lockdown to fight the spread of the virus, it is looking ever-more likely that the suspension of football matches will be extended.

There are currently 12 rounds of league action left to be completed, although eight Serie A teams have 13 fixtures remaining.

“If it isn’t possible to bring the leagues to a conclusion, we will opt for other decisions,” Gravina told Radio 1 Rai.

“It isn’t ruled out that the current season could be spread out over two different seasons."

“I understand that there is a lot of curiosity, but today nobody is in a position to say what our future holds.”

Gravina also revealed that he will back calls for Euro 2020 to be postponed when representatives of national federations, European leagues and clubs hold an emergency video-conference call on Tuesday.

European club football has ground to a halt as countries across the continent look to stop the spread of the virus.

Euro 2020, which is set to start on 12 June and take place for a month across 12 different nations, could be pushed back by a year to give the national leagues a chance to finish.

“The postponement of the European Championships is the idea to follow,” said Gravina.

“Tomorrow we will ask for an act of responsibility from UEFA and all the Federations, to follow a path that seeks to protect the health of the athletes and fans across the world.”

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