Coronavirus pandemic

Serie A may end as late as October

Serie A leaders Juventus beat Inter 2-0 behind closed doors a day before the season was suspended. PHOTO: REUTERS
Serie A leaders Juventus beat Inter 2-0 behind closed doors a day before the season was suspended. PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME • The Serie A season could be extended to September or October, the head of the Italian Football Association (FIGC) said on Sunday night, warning that there could be an "avalanche of litigation" if it was not settled on the field.

The Italian league has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed nearly 16,000 lives in Italy as of yesterday - more than any other country.

Several Serie A club presidents, including Massimo Cellino of bottom side Brescia, have suggested that the season should be called off given the Covid-19 crisis.

But FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has insisted that going down that route will lead to "an avalanche of litigation to which we would be subjected by all those who could be considered damaged in their rights and interests".

Teams who are relegated and those who miss out on European football next term would surely engage lawyers - a prospect the Italian football authorities would like to avoid.

"We would really run the risk of the championship taking place only in the courtrooms. The only serious way to handle a serious emergency of this kind is to complete the 2019-2020 season competitions this year," he told state broadcaster RAI's Domenica Sportiva programme.

"We are working on a whole series of possible solutions to manage the situation in the best possible way.

"Could it finish in September or October? That is one hypothesis. It's a way to avoid jeopardising not only the 2019-20 season but also the 2020-21 season."

Gravina added that May 17 was being considered as a possible date for a restart but stressed that this was also "a hypothesis".

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  • Rounds of matches the Serie A's top two of Juventus and Lazio, separated by a single point, must play to complete their season.

Uefa last week called on domestic leagues around Europe to finish their campaigns once football is able to resume. The European governing body added that if a championship was called off, its clubs might not be accepted into the Champions League and Europa League next season.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2020, with the headline Serie A may end as late as October. Subscribe