After much debate over whether or not Serie A should or shouldn’t resume the suspended 2019-20 season, we finally have official word. The Italian Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, confirmed that the government has given the FIGC clearance to resume play. Play on the peninsula will resume first with the Coppa Italia semifinal second legs on June 13th, followed by the cup final on June 17th. Serie A will then resume league play on June 20th.
With Germany having resumed Bundesliga play on May 16, La Liga returning on June 8th, and the Premier League set to resume on June 17th, all four of Europe’s top four leagues are planning on aiming to play out their league calendars. This is something to give football deprived fans something to look forward to.
Spadafora had the following to say about the today’s meeting that led to the announcement.
“It was a very useful meeting and, as we had said from the start, football was always going to resume when we had the conditions to ensure safety and the CTS gave the all-clear to the protocols,” said Spadafora.
“Italy is getting back on its feet and it is only right that football should do the same. The CTS agreed with the medical protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period if a player were to test positive.
“We also received guarantees the process of swabs for players must not affect or detract from the general population’s access to testing in any way.
“The FIGC also assured me that the Plan B (play-offs and play-outs) and Plan C (using the existing table) can be adopted in case of suspension. It is not up to me as Minister to decide, as that will be done by the FIGC.
“In the light of all those events, we can today say that the season can resume from June 20.”
Where the calendar picks up has yet to be announced, as a handful of teams still have a game in hand from localized matchday 25 cancellations. An official calendar will be released tomorrow. Once that is announced we will know for sure if the league will resume with the games in hand or with match day 27 when Roma was scheduled to meet Sampdoria.
With Italy seeing a drastic drop in Coronavirus cases, everyone involved is hopeful of being able to finish out the season. However, as can be noted in Spadafora’s comments, there is a Plan B and even a Plan C. So, despite the optimism, the sides are covering their bases in a worst case scenario were the league must be halted again.
Meanwhile, FIGC chief Gabriele Gravina also expressed his delight at the official resumption date, focusing on the hope that calcio brings to the recovering nation.
“The return of Calcio represents a message of hope for the entire country,” said Football Federation chief Gravina.
“I am happy and satisfied with the outcome. It’s a success we share with the Minister for Sport Spadafora and all the Federation components. Our project is one of great responsibility, because it involves the entire professional football world in Italy, with Serie A, B, C and hopefully also women’s Serie A.”
I know that this announcement comes as welcome news to calcio fans who need some semblance of normalcy after long months of self-isolation and quarantine. Just how it plays out remains to be seen, as nobody can truly predict what exactly will happen with the virus. However, the most recent numbers from the peninsula are encouraging, as numbers continue to drop. Thus far, the Bundesliga has played three match days without incident and should provide a model for Serie A to follow when it returns.
We will all be hoping for the best now that the league has chosen to resume play. If plans are able to be carried out without issue then we could be in store for a busy summer of Roma and football in generall. The Giallorossi will have to play out the final 12 match days in a very compressed time span, as well as, the Europa League potentially in August. Buckle up, things could get interesting.