Italy's Minister for Sport Confirms Serie A's Potential Return Dates

logo of the Serie A
AS Roma v US Lecce - Serie A | Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Italy's minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora has cited 13 or 20 June as potential return dates for Serie A.

A ball hasn't been kicked in the Italian top-flight for two-and-a-half months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with Italy being one of the hardest-hit countries by the virus with more than 32,000 deaths.

Jeremie Boga, Gregoire Defrel
The final bit of Serie A action saw Sassuolo ease past Brescia 3-0 on March 9 | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Nevertheless, with deaths and new cases falling daily for several weeks, Italy are already well into phase two of their response to the virus, which has seen an easing of lockdown restrictions.

A government decree, however, has banned competitive sports until 14 June, but there is scope for that date to be brought forward if numbers continue to decline.

But with Serie A outfits resuming group training last week, Spadafora confirmed to Rai TG3 (via Football Italia) that talks will commence on Thursday over the potential return dates for league action: “We are working on two possible dates to begin Serie A games, on 13 or 20 June.

“The protocol arrived for resuming the season and it is very similar to the one that was agreed for training. On Thursday, we’ll decide if and when to resume,” he added.

The minister also outlined plans to prevent fans from assembling in bars or at friends' houses to watch the matches which are typically pay-per-view.

SV Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga
The Bundesliga looks to have made a safe and successful return to action | Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

“In Germany, Sky reached an agreement to show a sort of live highlights programme as the goals go in and that is free to air, so we certainly ought to consider something like that in Italy to avoid fans assembling in bars,” he continued.

Despite the positive news regarding Serie A's likely return next month, Spadafora admitted plans to make drastic changes to the football system in Italy, with Serie C set to be significantly reduced.

“This emergency has shown some critical issues in the world of football that we will face in a general reform that will happen before the end of the summer," he revealed.