• Serie A showdown talks over season resumption set for May 28

    Italian Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora has announced that the future of the 2019-20 Serie A campaign will be determined at a meeting on May 28.

    The Italian top flight has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but steps have been taken this month toward the league’s return.

    Teams began individualised training sessions at their facilities in early May before resuming group training this week after being cleared by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

    As the league eyes a potential return by mid-June, decisive talks have now been scheduled between the Italian government, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A.

    “[Italian Footballers’ Association President Damiano] Tommasi wants a certain date? I am pleased to give him good news,” Spadafora said Tuesday on Italian TV station Rai 2 . “Just a little while ago I called a meeting with [FIGC President Gabriele] Gravina, [Serie A President Paolo] Dal Pino and all the other members for May 28, at 3pm.

    “I believe that we will be in good condition next Thursday to have all the data available, with respect to the evolution of the health emergency, in order to be able to decide if and when Serie A will restart. May 28 is the date by which we will make a decision.”

    There have been suggestions that Serie A will look to complete their campaign with a mini-tournament – with teams still having 12 or 13 matches remaining in the season – but Spadafora has rejected the idea of a play-off format, saying he believes the season should be played out in its entirety if it is to be completed.

    “The format will be decided by the federations,” Spadafora said. “I believe that the important thing is that if we start the championship again, we finish it.”

    Spadafora also said that he regretted his previous suggestion that Serie A could go the way of Ligue 1 in France, which saw its season terminated last month.

    “Closing everything as in France would have been the impulse choice,” Spadafora said. “I reacted harshly, because deciding immediately on a resumption date of the championship, with full intensive therapies, was shameful.

    “Now that the country is starting it is right that even football and the whole world of sport starts again. This idea that I could be against football I found annoying at the beginning, now it’s just funny.”

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