Serie A

Coronavirus: Italy to cancel Serie A if no training agreement is reached

Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said that the impasse over Covid-19 protocols for a return to training could lead the government to call the season off.

Coronavirus: Italy to cancel Serie A if no training agreement is reached
ALBERTO LINGRIA REUTERS

Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora has said that the government will bring an end to the Serie A season if there is no agreement on how to proceed with the campaign between clubs and health experts. The Italian top flight has been suspended since 9 March due to the coronavirus pandemic and although it was initially hoped a return to training would take place in early May, a series of issues has led to an impasse between the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the relevant authorities. 

"We will state it plainly," Spadafora told Rai on Thursday. "If all the parties agree on the protocol, training sessions will resume and, as a result, it will be a positive sign regarding the restart of the season. If there is no agreement, the government will declare the season over due to the health emergency." 

On Wednesday Spadafora expressed his belief that he thought it unlikely the Serie A campaign would be completed. "I see an increasingly narrow path for the resumption of the Serie A... If I were one of the presidents [of the clubs] I would focus on the next season," he told private TV broadcaster La7.

France and the Netherlands have already declared their seasons over, while the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga and Serie A have said they want to finish.

"These decisions [in France and in the Netherlands] could push Italy to follow this line, which would become a European line," Spadafora said. 

Serie A season still not guaranteed to finish

He added that he thought a majority of Serie A presidents may soon ask to suspend the league and prepare for the next championship. The FIGC has drawn up a medical protocol for training, but Spadafora said the government's scientific expert did not deem it sufficient, and that discussions would continue.

"The technical-scientific committee is meeting with the various components of the world of sports, including the FIGC, to obtain more information on protocols for a return to training," Spadafora said, adding that Serie A clubs should desist with disagreements and come together to reach a solution. 

In Serie A, Juventus lead Lazio by a single point in the table, leading to the suggestion from the Rome side's president, Claudio Lotito, that a single game between the two clubs could be played to decide the title.