BLOG ITALIA
Thursday July 6 2017
VAR Nightmare

Serie A introduces VAR in every game from this season, but Susy Campanale sees a potential disaster looming on the horizon.

VAR (Video Assistant Referees) are finally being implemented after decades – at least in Italy’s late-night TV review shows – of complaints and demands. The idea was greeted with declarations that it’d end the Juventus hegemony in Serie A, suddenly resolve all protests and fix a broken game. That was before people saw it in action. Now they’re starting to realise what I’d warned for a while: this is going to make things even worse.

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Tuesday July 4 2017
Official: Rizzoli new Serie A designator

It is now official that Nicola Rizzoli is retiring a year early as a referee to become the new Serie A designator, with Emidio Morganti for Serie B.

Aged 45, Rizzoli technically wouldn’t be forced to hang up his whistle until 2018.

However, he has opted to quit on the field duties early and has been appointed new refereeing designator for Serie A.

Rizzoli replaces previous incumbent Domenico Messina.

Morganti takes on that role for Serie B games, while Matteo Trefoloni assigns officials for Serie D.

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Tuesday July 4 2017
Serie A fixtures on July 26

The Serie A fixture list for the 2017-18 season is expected to be drawn up on July 26.

According to the latest reports, the Lega Serie A will hold the ceremony to pick the calendar on July 26, although the location is not yet confirmed.

The season is due to kick off on the weekend of August 20.

It’ll come to a close on May 20, 2018.

There will be midweek rounds on September 20, October 25 and April 18.

This term, there will be no Christmas break, but there is a pause on the weekend of January 14.

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Sunday June 25 2017
Serie A or Premier League?

A question that many fans ask about their own league is how it compares to others, and Serie A followers are no different. Looking across Europe, the English Premier League attracts a lot of attention, but how does Italy’s top division fare?

The top teams

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Friday June 23 2017
ADL wants 16-team Serie A

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis says he would like a 16-team Serie A – with only one relegation place.

Serie A extended its doors to 20 clubs in 2004, but De Laurentiis is keen for a return to the old days, specifically between 1967 and 1988, as well as just one side going into Serie B.

“In 1986, 16 teams played in Serie A,” he told BeIN Sports.

“If Mediaset and Sky then say they’ll give us games that no-one wants to see, I wonder why…

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Monday June 12 2017
Serie A schedule announced

The Lega Serie A has officially confirmed next season’s schedule, with no Christmas break.

Italy CT Giampiero Ventura had asked for the season to finish earlier, with the 2018 World Cup due to get underway on June 14.

Today the Lega Serie A has released the dates for the new season, which will kick-off on Sunday August 20.

The campaign will finish on May 20, 2018, with the Coppa Italia final moved to May 9 to avoid clashes with the Champions League final, and to give more time for World Cup preparation.

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Saturday June 10 2017
Serie A will start with VAR

Serie A will begin using VAR technology in every game from the start of the 2017-18 season, abolishing goal-line referees.

“We asked for a little understanding from the clubs, as we introduce this new system into all the stadiums,” said FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio.

“We’re going to need a separate room for the Video Assistant Referees and at least eight television cameras following the action. The Lega Serie A will cover the costs, in the region of €2m.

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Saturday June 10 2017
Serie A TV rights not assigned

A new auction is required for Serie A TV rights after Mediaset abandoned it in protest and Sky offered well below the asking price.

Today the TV rights for the 2018-21 period were put up for auction in five different packages.

It proved a bust, as Mediaset Premium refused to lodge any bids in protest at the system, which they claimed was designed to reduce competition.

Sky Sport Italia and Perform did make offers for four of the five packages, but they were well below the asking price.

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BLOG ITALIA
Friday June 9 2017
Benevento hit the big time

Benevento have become Serie A’s latest debutants, in no less than their fourth iteration as a club. Livio Caferoglu looks at the southerners’ incredible journey.

Benevento’s nickname, Le Streghe, translates to the Witches due to the Campania town being known as ‘the City of Witches’. The provincial capital is believed to have been the site of pagan rituals during the Lombards’ rule around 1,500 years ago, but even more important than religious relics is the team’s stunning journey to Serie A, which certainly seems like an act of sorcery.

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Friday June 9 2017
Owner: Benevento here to stay!

Benevento President Oreste Vigorito insists his club will not exist in Serie A just to make up the numbers after their historic promotion on Thursday.

Benevento beat Carpi 1-0 in the Serie B playoffs to reach the Italian top flight for the first time in their history, and the President hailed the southerners for displaying “maybe more heart” than Juventus pair Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

“It was a promise made by two people, born as brothers by chance and who became friends by force,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

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