Saturday November 24 2012
Abete calls for '18-team Serie A'

Federation President Giancarlo Abete confirms a plan to “return Serie A to 18 teams as soon as possible” and send Europa League semi-finalists into the Champions League.

There have been many clubs critical of the switch to 20 sides in the Italian top flight and it’s reported cutting down could save millions as well as increase competitiveness.

“I can say we all hope to return Serie A to 18 teams as soon as possible,” the FIGC President told RaiSport.

“We are also studying a plan with UEFA to reward the Europa League semi-finalists by giving them qualification for the next season’s Champions League.”

This week Abete wrote a letter of apology to Tottenham and the England FA after seven fans were hospitalised in an anti-Semitic attack.

So far two arrests have been confirmed as Roma ultras, though it is believed the group of hooligans were united by their far right political views.

The FIGC President added that verbal insults and violent imagery around big games such as tonight’s Palermo-Catania derby should be toned down.

“The controversy may well have a positive effect in firing up their own fanbase, but at the same time it feeds the negative rapport with all the others. It creates a damaging image of Italian football, so it would be opportune to show more common sense and responsibility.”

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