Serie A, Italy’s top soccer league, confirmed on Wednesday that they plan to restart play for all 20 teams on June 13, pending approval from the Italian government.
“As regards to the resumption of sporting activity, the date of 13 June for the resumption of the championship was indicated, in accordance with government decisions and in accordance with the medical protocols for the protection of players and all professionals,” Serie A said in a statement, per Pro Soccer Talk.
Serie A has been suspended since March 9 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clubs are planning to begin full team training on May 18.
Serie A also mentioned a recent conference call with their sponsors and broadcast partners regarding the payment of rights fees and sponsorship agreements. Serie A told them that they “need to comply with the payment deadlines set by the contracts to maintain a constructive relationship with them.”
There is some disagreement between Serie A and the Italian government on how to proceed if a player tests positive for COVID-19. The government has mandated that the entire team would quarantine for 14 days if one player or staff member tests positive. Since that would cause significant issues and delays in an already chaotic schedule, Serie A wants to adopt the Bundesliga’s less-stringent plan. In the Bundesliga, a player who tests positive would quarantine on their own until they recover, and the team would be tested constantly.
Restarting Serie A — should the government approve the plan — is a major step for Italy, which was hit enormously hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have over 220,000 cases and more than 30,000 deaths, with the Northern Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna taking the brunt of the outbreak. The country began relaxing COVID-19 restrictions on May 4, and regions will be able to open bars, restaurants, and salons starting on May 18.
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