Serie A: Italian Football Federation head Gabriele Gravina looking at July and August to finish league

Serie A has been suspended since 9 March and players from several clubs have tested positive for the virus.

Reuters March 26, 2020 15:15:05 IST
Serie A: Italian Football Federation head Gabriele Gravina looking at July and August to finish league

Italian football boss Gabriele Gravina is refusing to write off the Serie A season due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying the league could extend into July and August if necessary.

Italy has seen more coronavirus fatalities than any other country, with latest figures showing that 7,503 people have died from the infection in barely a month.

Serie A Italian Football Federation head Gabriele Gravina looking at July and August to finish league

Representative photo. Image credit: Official Facebook page of Lega Serie A

The northern region of Lombardy, by far the hardest-hit, showed a steep decline in the number of deaths and new infections in the latest figures on Wednesday, raising hopes that the epidemic may be slowing at its original epicentre.

However, optimism was tempered by warnings from the south, where contagion and deaths are far less widespread but are rising steadily.

Serie A has been suspended since 9 March and players from several clubs have tested positive for the virus.

“I don’t give up easily,” Gravina, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), said in an interview with Radio Marte.

“As long as there is a chance, I will keep alive the hope of restarting the championships. I am aware that it is premature to think about a date, but we must think positively, also for the health of the Italians, and hope that this situation ends as soon as possible.”

There are 12 match days still to play, plus several outstanding matches, and Gravina estimated the league could be completed in 45 to 60 days. “If we are given the month of July and August, that could be the right period,” he said.

He also stood by an earlier suggestion to use a playoff system to decide the league if there was not enough time to complete the original schedule, and said it could be a interesting idea for the future.

“I proposed it only as a lifeboat. But for the future we’ll work on it because, for me, it remains an interesting idea and I hope one day it can be shared by the protagonists, so as to give even more interest to Serie A”.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

What to watch in European football this weekend: Lionel Messi-led Barcelona at Sevilla; Porto hope to stop runaway leaders Sporting and an 'Olympico'
Sports

What to watch in European football this weekend: Lionel Messi-led Barcelona at Sevilla; Porto hope to stop runaway leaders Sporting and an 'Olympico'

Sevilla and Barcelona clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday, with fourth-placed Julen Lopetegui side two points behind third-placed Barca while boasting a game in hand.

AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic to juggle week of football, music at San Remo festival
Sports

AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic to juggle week of football, music at San Remo festival

A tailor-made score has been established to allow the footballer to ensure his commitments with the festival, broadcast live for five nights from Tuesday, 2 March, while playing with the Milan club.

Serie A: Inter Milan down arch-rivals AC Milan to extend lead to four points atop standings
Sports

Serie A: Inter Milan down arch-rivals AC Milan to extend lead to four points atop standings

Inter opened up a four-point lead over their second-placed opponents as Antonio Conte's side target a first league title since their unprecedented treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010.