FIGC chief claims Serie A must conclude ‘even with a few days in July’

FIGC President Gabriele Gravina confirms Serie A hopes to resume on May 3, but finishing all the tournaments “could mean a few days in July. I never considered ending the season here.”

Serie A was the first major league to be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, swiftly followed by the other big five in Europe, the Champions League, Europa League and even Euro 2020.

“We have started putting down a calendar that could start on May 3 until June 30,” Federation chief Gravina told Telelombardia.

“It’s probable this could also mean using up a few days in July, so we have already asked the authorities in our country, along with UEFA and FIFA.

“We’ll take into account obviously the European club competitions and the international window that has been requested by UEFA for the first week of June to conclude the Euro qualifiers.”

There have been 26 Serie A rounds played – aside from a few teams such as Inter and Atalanta who played 25 – and different options were suggested on how to proceed if the coronavirus crisis drags on for much longer.

“I never even considered ending the season here, because that would take away hope from the fans and send a negative message. I pay close attention to the sporting, economic and social dynamics, accompanied by a sense of optimism. Sport and football in particular represent a glimmer of hope that we can get back to normal.

“We must be convinced that we can resume on May 3. If we can’t do it then, it’ll be further along the line, but we have to finish the tournaments. After all, there is also a financial consideration of €700m deficit if Serie A does not conclude.

“The ideal deadline is June 30 for a whole series of reasons, but otherwise we could take extraordinary measures and even reach July 30.”

It’s not just Serie A, the Champions League and Europa League, but also the Coppa Italia, as only the first legs of the Inter-Napoli and Milan-Juventus semi-finals were played.

“We are including the Coppa Italia in our new calendar, because the winner would be eligible for a place in the Europa League, something that right now both Milan and Napoli would benefit from,” added Gravina.

“I hope it can be played, otherwise we’ll find some way of ensuring the value of the sporting competition. This is true also for Serie A. If football gets back on its feet, it means the country has defeated this damned virus.”