Italy's Serie A given green light to resume on June 20
Italy's top-flight Serie A soccer league has been given the go-ahead to restart on June 20 following the novel coronavirus stoppage, the country's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Thursday.
Italy's Serie A is set to resume on June 20.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the league the all-clear to resume on Thursday, although it will have to wait a week longer than it had initially hoped.
Spadafora held a meeting with Italian soccer authorities by video conference after a medical protocol for matches was approved earlier on Thursday.
"The meeting was very useful," Spadafora said. "Now Italy is starting again and it is right that soccer starts again too.
"If the curve changes and the league has to be stopped again, the Italian soccer federation has assured me that there exists a plan B -- playoffs -- and also a plan C -- leaving the standings as they are."
Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The league's 20 teams agreed earlier this month to resume competition on June 13 in empty stadiums. But, following a government decree days later banning sports until June 14, the Italian soccer federation swiftly announced that it would comply. However, it had hoped for special dispensation.
"The league will restart June 20," Spadafora said. "There's then the possibility that the Italian Cup semifinals and final can be played on June 13 and 17."
There are 12 rounds remaining in Serie A, plus four matches that were postponed from the 25th round.
Juventus, which is bidding for a record-extending ninth successive Serie A title, has a one-point advantage over Lazio. Third-place Inter Milan is nine points behind Juventus but has played a match less.
In England, the Premier League announced plans on Thursday to resume on June 17.