Serie A considering play-off to decide league champion
The Italian football federation (FIGC) admitted yesterday that the Serie A season might not be completed because of the coronavirus outbreak and put forward several alternatives, which included a play-off system to decide the champions and relegation.
The FIGC confirmed in a statement that 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 coronavirus outbreak.
It said that 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 - and a third would be to not declare a champion this season.
The last time that 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.
Meanwhile, Chile's Europe-based stars Alexis Sanchez (Inter Milan) and Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) will be quarantined when they return home to play in a World Cup qualifier this month, Chile's health minister said yesterday.
"We do not make any distinction by people's profession because nobody is immune to this virus and indeed the quarantine determined today for Italy applies to everyone," said Health Minister Jaime Manalich, according to local news website Emol.
Italian media outlet Tuttosport reported that most nations have pleaded with Uefa to postpone June's European Championship, although the governing body has since denied the claims. - REUTERS