FIGC President Gabriele Gravina confirms they could ‘consider alternative formats’ should the 2020-21 Serie A season start later than September 12, while defining Plan C for this term.
The three-month lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the European championships to be postponed, while the Coppa Italia is set to resume from June 12-13, followed by Serie A from June 20.
With the Champions League and Europa League planned for August, when will the 2020-21 Serie A season begin?
“If the league is able to start from September 12, intensifying some of the dates that can be used during the winter break, then we should be able to close at the right time,” Federation chief Gravina told Sky Sport Italia.
“The Government’s relaunch decree does give the FIGC an option to consider alternative formats. We hope to resume with the same structure, but we are ready to evaluate alternative solutions.”
Euro 2020 is now scheduled to kick off on June 11, 2021.
This, of course, is all assuming that the 2019-20 campaign is allowed to run its course, because there is still the very real risk that a new COVID-19 case could grind everything to a halt.
Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora said he was only giving the all-clear because the FIGC had Plan B and Plan C in place.
“Our Plan B would be play-offs and play-outs, a more contained and quicker format to ensure any result is still a sporting one,” explained Gravina.
“In case play is definitively stopped, we’d have to resort to an algorithm that will be approved before the games resume. It’ll take into account various factors tied to the results on the pitch and objective status of the table for each team, so we can in any case define this season.”
The algorithm becomes much more complicated if the teams have not all played the same number of games, which is why Serie A will resume on June 20 with the five outstanding Week 25 fixtures.
Gravina also commented on the lengthy and difficult negotiations that allowed Serie A to reach this stage of a return.
“We took a weight off our shoulders on Thursday, meeting Minister Spadafora in harmony. These were difficult, complicated weeks, dealing with ineptitude and people who were patronising, with the philosophers of the obvious and the gang who say nothing can be done.
“I tried to act with determination, but always great prudence when dealing with people’s health.”
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