In the last few days, the Coronavirus outbreak hasn’t exactly calmed down in Italy. Therefore, following the games that took place this past weekend, Serie A is set to be suspended until April 3rd. At the time of writing, the new decision should be signed off tomorrow (Tuesday).
Unlike the first decision, which allowed the games to be played behind closed doors, this will put a complete stop to all sporting events in the country. Considering how tight the schedule is already, this will make it very difficult to complete the season in time, although it must be stressed that public health comes first.
So, what options are there for the remainder of the season? According to today’s edition of La Repubblica, the FIGC will have three options to consider. Although the decision to suspend the league will arrive tomorrow, it will take a bit more time to decide how to move forward. Down below are the three options.
1. Ask to postpone the Euros - This is the preferred option of the clubs and the FIGC. The Euros are scheduled to start on June 12 and an official request would be handed to UEFA to start the tournament later. This would allow the Serie A clubs to finish the season in time.
2. Study a new schedule - Should UEFA say no, the FIGC would have to work on a new schedule to finish in time. They could try to play the games every 2-3 days, but this certainly wouldn’t be good for the players. Coppa Italia could be postponed in this case, to the end of the season or possibly even August.
3. Cancel the entire season - This is the worst-case scenario. The last cancelled season was back in 1915 due to the First World War, and this remains an unlikely hypothesis (depending on the development, of course). The current standings would freeze, allowing the teams to secure European spots but no one would win.
A solution that for many is unacceptable, but supported by some. As happened after Calciopoli in 2006, it will be up to the Federal Council to decide. The Scudetto most likely wouldn’t be awarded, deciding just the European spots. However, this is far from an easy solution as all will have to be in an agreement.
Any decision will heavily depend on the developments in the upcoming weeks. Even if UEFA were to postpone the Euros, it remains to be seen if it will be possible to play the remaining Serie A games after April 3rd. With the Coronavirus count increasing, it’s certainly realistic to assume that this could be the case.
Tomorrow, FIGC will hold a meeting to decide on the suspension of the league, although their say might not matter if CONI’s request to suspend all sporting activities in the country is granted by the government. In any case, there is really one outcome of the situation, and that is a suspension.
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