Serie A to return as women’s football ends in Italy

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San Javier born Marta Penalver: FF Cagliari season over.
San Javier born Marta Penalver: FF Cagliari season over.

By Andrew Atkinson Exclusive

San Javier born womens football star, Spain international Marta Penalver, remains in Italy amid the coronavirus lockdown that halted football.

After it was announced that the womens La Liga 2019-20 season will not resume, football in Serie A is set to return in June.

“Our season has finished – it will not resume,” FF Cagliari star Marta told me.

Following Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora, the Lega Serie A and Italian Football Federation presidents, along with representatives from the Players Association and the Association of Italian Sports Medics having a meeting, a decision to resume the top-flight in Italy was confirmed.

Serie A was the first of Europe’s major leagues to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with games postponed and played behind closed doors, prior to the league being postponed.

The Italian government’s technical/scientific committee approved a revised medical protocol to stage Serie A games, giving the go ahead for the league to recommence.

“It was a very useful meeting and, as we had said from the start, football was always going to resume – when we had the conditions to ensure safety – and the committee gave the go-ahead to the protocol,” said sports minister Spadafora.

“Italy is getting back on track and it is only fair that football should too. The committee agreed with the protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period, if a player tests positive.

“We also received guarantees the process of player testing will not affect or detract from the general population’s access to testing in any way.”

Protocol includes a rule, with Serie A clubs placing their whole team and staff on a two weeks quarantine period, if anyone from the group tests positive for coronavirus.

Players in the Premier League and Championship have tested positive for COVID-19, with protocol eight days’ isolation. Premier League football is scheduled to return on June 17.

It has also been decided that the two Coppa Italia semi-finals return legs, Juventus v AC Milan and Napoli v Inter Milan, will be played on June 13, with the final taking place on June 17.

For Coppa Italia games to take place on that date, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte needs to sign a special decree, giving an exception to the previous decree, which banned professional sporting events until June 14.

Sports minister Spadafora says should Serie A not be able to play out its remaining fixtures, it would resort to introducing a play-off stage – or freeze its current standings.

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