Football Sports

Italian soccer boss insists that Serie A season is not over, hopeful to resume by July and August

With only 12 matches left to complete the season of Italian Serie A, speculations of ending the season with the current standing rose. However, Italian football boss insists that the season will not write off and they are hopeful to resume by July and August this year. In Italy alone, there are over 80,000 people infected by the virus with more than 8,000 deaths, which is more than any other country.

President of the Italian Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina said in an interview that he “won’t lose hope of resuming the campaign”. The 2019-20 Serie A season was halted indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis. “I don’t give up easily. As long as there is a chance, I will keep alive the hope of restarting the championships,” Gravina said.

“I am aware that it is premature to think about a date, but we must think positively, also for the health of the Italians, and hope that this situation ends as soon as possible,” he added. “If we are given the month of July and August, that could be the right period”.  Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and was extended along with all sporting events in Italy.

Several Italian football players and officials have tested positive with COVID-19, including Paulo Dybala, Juventus forward and his girlfriend; Daniele Rugani, Juventus defender; Dusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina forward. “Right now, there’s no room for individual interests. I plead for common sense because, ultimately, it’s the FIGC that will have to decide,” Gravina added.

Speaking about the suggestion to use a playoff system to decide the league if there was not enough time to complete, Gavina said, “I proposed it only as a lifeboat. But for the future we’ll work on it because, for me, it remains an interesting idea and I hope one day it can be shared by the protagonists, so as to give even more interest to Serie A”.

He also rejected the idea of calling off the season, insisting that cancelation “diminishes the value of the competition” and that “It would lead to an unpleasant scenario”. Juventus are currently sitting on top of the league table with 63 points from 26 games, while Lazio sit next to them with 62 points from the same number of games.

Previously, Europe’s top domestic soccer leagues were halted indefinitely as Europe was declared to be the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. If Italy is predicting the Serie A season to return three months from now, the same resumption date is likely for England, France, Germany and Spain.

Earlier this week, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics has been postponed. Earlier this month, the UEFA Euro 2020 and CONMEBOL Copa America was already announced to be postponed for a year due to the global pandemic. The Indian Premier League (IPL) also postponed the start of the new season for 17 days that has a possibility of extending as the nation is currently on lockdown.