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Coronavirus: FIGC admit Serie A might not finish because of outbreak in Italy

The FIGC have put forward several alternatives which included a play-off system to decide the champions and relegation

Juventus beat Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to solidify their spot at the top of Serie A
Image: Juventus beat Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to solidify top spot in Serie A

The Italian football federation (FIGC) admitted on Tuesday the Serie A season might not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The FIGC confirmed in a statement Serie A would stop until at least April 3 following a government decree issued on Monday as Italy began an unprecedented, nationwide lockdown imposed to slow Europe's worst outbreak of coronavirus.

It said its president Gabriele Gravina had put forward three alternatives in case the championship could not be concluded which would be discussed at a meeting on March 23.

One possibility would be to have play-offs to decide the champion and relegation to Serie B, the statement said.

A second would be to declare the current standings to be final - which would result in Juventus winning the title by one point from Lazio - and a third would be to not declare a champion this season.

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We take a look at the impact coronavirus is having on sport; with some events cancelled and fans prevented from attending

The last time Serie A finished without a champion was in the 2004/05 season when Juventus were stripped of the title in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal and it was not re-assigned.

Serie A was previously decided by a play-off in 1964 when Bologna beat Inter Milan after the two finished level on points.

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Even if Serie A were able to resume on April 4, which is far from certain under the current circumstances, it would have to play 12 rounds of matches by May 24, an almost impossible task given the number of midweek dates reserved for European competition.

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Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says that there isn't any point in games being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak as the fans are the reason why they play

Gravina said he had therefore also proposed extending the season until May 31.

Coronavirus: Key sporting developments

  • Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has announced he has coronavirus and is now self-isolating
  • Wolves' Europa League tie at Olympiakos in Greece on Thursday - as well as Sevilla vs Roma - will be played behind closed doors
  • Barcelona have confirmed their Champions League last-16 second leg game with Napoli - scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at the Nou Camp - will take place behind closed doors. PSG's match with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday is also being played behind closed doors
  • All La Liga games for at least the next two weeks will be played behind closed doors following updated advice from the Spanish authorities
  • All Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches until April 15 will be played behind closed doors amid the outbreak, the French League (LFP) said on Tuesday
  • The Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in Bratislava on March 26 will be played behind closed doors. Germany's international football friendly against Italy on March 31 will also be played behind closed doors
  • The Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation has confirmed ticket sales for this month's Euro 2020 play-off match with Northern Ireland have been suspended
  • The France v Ireland Six Nations match was postponed on Monday. As it stands, the Wales vs Scotland match is the only game in the final round of the Six Nations due to go ahead as originally scheduled, after the Italy vs England game in Rome was postponed last week
  • All domestic sporting action has been suspended in Italy after prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced at a press conference that the whole country would be on lockdown from Tuesday morning
  • Catalans' Super League game at home to Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan on Saturday will go ahead behind closed doors
  • Tennis tournament the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells was due to start in California on Monday but will now not take place
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