Serie A to be completed by August 20 as new season gets September 1 start date

Goal.com

Serie A's 2019-20 season will be finished by August 20 with the aim of beginning the 2020-21 campaign on September 1.

A Federal Council meeting between Italian Football Federation (FIGC) chief Gabriele Gravina, Lega Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino and major stakeholders from Serie A, Serie B and Serie C was held on Wednesday to discuss a revised calendar for the suspended seasons.

The Italian top flight, suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, had hoped to resume on June 13, but the season will remain on hiatus until at least June 14 after a decision made in line with a recent government decree.

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On Tuesday, Italian Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora said the future of the Serie A campaign will be decided at a meeting  with the council on May 28.

It was agreed by the council that the current season in the top three divisions should be completed no later than August 20 to allow for the Coppa Italia tournament to conclude at the end of the month.

A new format by which to decide the final standings will be sought if Covid-19, which has claimed more than 32,000 lives in Italy, causes the campaign to be brought to a halt again.

"The Italian Football Federation has expressed its willingness to restart and complete its national professional competitions, marking August 20 as the deadline for Serie A, B and C to close their competitions," a FIGC statement read.

"Ahead of the restart of sporting activity, it will be the Federal Council's competence to determine the criteria whereby competitions will be finalised.

"Finally, as a result of what has been sanctioned, the 2020-21 sporting season will start on September 1."

While teams returned to training this week, Parma announced last Saturday that two of their players tested positive for Covid-19, while Inter said the following day that all of their players, coaches and staff tested negative for the virus.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said recently that he expects the 2019-20 season, including the Champions League and Europa League, to be concluded by August.

"We have an idea but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates. I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August," he said. "As things look now, I'm sure that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition."

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