Serie A sets June 20 return date

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus competes for the ball with Nicola Barella of Inter Milan (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Serie A, the top tier of Italian club football, is set to return on June 20 after the country’s Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the league the green light to resume.

Serie A clubs had voted to resume the competition on June 13 before a government decree later ruled that sports could not return until the following day.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) agreed to comply with the ruling but had hoped for special dispensation. June 20 has now been pencilled in as the start date but Spadafora said it could be possible for the Coppa Italia semi-finals and final to be played on June 13 and June 17, respectively.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9, with Italy particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said: “The restart of football represents a message of hope for the whole country. I am happy and satisfied and it is a success I share with the Minister for Sport…Ours is a project of great responsibility because it invests everything in the professional world of Serie A, B and C and, hopefully, the women’s Serie A.”

The first legs of the Coppa Italia semi-finals took place before the lockdown. AC Milan drew 1-1 with Juventus, while Napoli beat Inter Milan 1-0.

Serie A still needs to finish 12 rounds of fixtures and the league is set to meet today (Friday) to formalise the calendar.

Earlier this week, Lega Serie A stood firm on its media-rights payment policy, reiterating its stance that broadcasters must meet deadlines as stipulated in their contracts despite the league’s suspension.