Italian Football President Gabriele Gravina officiated the meeting which decided the restart of the Serie A season (Photo: ANSA/Riccardo Antimiani)

Serie A To Restart In June, Playoffs In Case of New Suspension

The Serie A will restart in June, and so will the lower divisions Serie B and Serie C. At the end of an all-day-long meeting, the Federal Council of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) approved to resume all the major football competitions in Italy. The amateur leagues, from the Serie D on, will not restart and their season will be called off.

The Council meeting, featuring the FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, the presidents of the three professional leagues – Paolo Dal Pino (Serie A), Mauro Balata (Serie B), and Francesco Ghirelli (Serie C) – as well as other stakeholders including the players and referees’ union representatives, issued a statement that sets the guidelines for resuming the competitions and complete the 2019-20 season.

The Football Federation set August 20 as a deadline to complete the current Serie A campionato, which has been on stop since March 9 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and August 31 as the last possible date to wrap up the current season. The first games are expected to be played on June 13 – pending final approval from the Italian Government, which yesterday gave its green light to clubs to resume group training sessions.

In case of another stop to the competitions – should the coronavirus emergency call for a new lockdown – the FIGC will consider resorting to a playoff and playout round to determine the Serie A winner, as well as the promoted and relegated teams. In the worst-case scenario, i.e. if an ultimate suspension to the season is imposed, the Football Federation will adopt “objective correction coefficients” to define the final league tables.

Such coefficients will consider “the different number of matches played by clubs and, in any case, will provide for promotions and relegations.” There was, however, no clear mention of how the Scudetto winner would be determined in such a scenario.

The FIGC also set the date for the beginning of the 2020-21 season to September 1.

The final decision on how and when to restart to play, however, will still be up to the Italian Government, in the person of the Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora. While the Minister approved the restart of group training sessions, he is expected to issue the last word on the leagues’ resume on May 28.

That’s when we will really know if the current season will be completed or called off.

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