MILAN (AP) – Italian Serie A will restart on June 20.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the league all clear to continue on Thursday, despite having to wait a week longer than originally expected.
Spadafora held a meeting with Italian soccer authorities via video conference after the medical protocol for the match was agreed earlier on Thursday.
“The meeting was very useful,” said Spadafora. “Now Italy is starting again and it’s true that football is starting again too.
“If the curve changes and the league must be stopped again, the Italian football federation has convinced me that there is a plan B – playoff – and also plan C – to leave the standings as they are.”
Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a national shutdown due to a coronavirus pandemic.
20 league teams agreed earlier this month to resume competition on June 13 at an empty stadium. However, after a government decision a few days later that banned the sport until June 14, the Italian soccer federation quickly announced that they would abide by it. However, they expect special dispensation.
“The league will resume on June 20,” Spadafora said. “It is possible that the semifinals and the Italian Cup final can be played on June 13 and 17.”
The semifinal first leg was played before being locked out, with AC Milan drawing 1-1 against Juventus and Napoli winning 1-0 at Inter Milan.
The rights to trophy matches are owned by the Italian state television RAI.
“That would be a good signal because you can watch three important matches freely on public channels,” Spadafora added.
The medical protocol is similar to that used for team training, which means that if one person in the group – players or staff – tests positive for COVID-19 the entire group must undergo a 14-day retreat.
There are 12 rounds left in Serie A, plus four matches postponed from the 25th round.
Juventus, who are aiming for the ninth Serie A title that extends the record, have a one point advantage over Lazio. Third place, Inter Milan, nine points behind Juventus but playing less.
The relief of Serie A is set to hold a meeting on Friday where he can formalize the calendar.
Serie B, the Italian second division, also plans to continue on June 20.
“Football resumption is a message of hope for the whole country,” federation president Gabriele Gravina said. “Our project is one of the big responsibilities, because it involves the entire professional world of Serie A, B, C and, hopefully, also Serie A. women
In England, the Premier League announced plans on Thursday to continue on 17 June.
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