Serie A clubs want to re-start on June 13 if government allows


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Inter Milan - San Siro, Milan, Italy - September 21, 2019 AC Milan's Rafael Leao in action with Inter Milan's Nicolo Barella REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Serie A clubs voted in a favour of re-starting the season on June 13 during a general assembly on Wednesday, if the government allows.

The Italian top flight has been suspended since March 9 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and, although the government has authorised teams to hold collective training sessions from next Monday, it has not yet decided if and when the championship can resume.

"As far as the resumption of sports activities is concerned, the date of June 13 for the resumption of the championship has been indicated... in accordance with medical protocols for the protection of players and all those involved," Serie A said in a statement.

Serie A said the clubs had also called on broadcasting rights holders to "respect the payment deadlines set out in the contracts in order to maintain a constructive relationship with them".

Serie A still has 12 rounds of matches to play plus several outstanding games postponed from earlier rounds. Juventus lead the standings by one point from Lazio while Lecce, SPAL and Brescia occupy the relegation places.

The main sticking point is the question of how to deal with a positive test.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) says that isolating the affected player would be sufficient providing the rest of the squad remain negative.

The health ministry insists the entire squad would have to go into a 14-day quarantine which would mean matches being postponed and could play havoc with the fixture list if players at a number of teams tested positive.

Earlier, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora told the Italian Senate that the government would take its time.

"If (Serie A) resumes, as we all hope, it will be because we will have arrived at this decision after an orderly succession of actions and protocols," he said. "It is not possible to decide in an irresponsible hurry."

"Football is by its nature a sport in which it is not possible to keep distances, the players must run and agglomerate in the penalty area," he added.

"The underestimation of this problem led a few weeks ago to the quarantine of several Serie A teams. We want to avoid finding ourselves in this situation."

(Writing by Brian Homewood,; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)

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