Coronavirus: Italian FA chief says 2020-21 Serie A season could be split into groups & completed in just five months

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Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina says the 2020-21 Serie A season could be completed in a few months and consist of group stages and play-offs in order to complete the current campaign.

Top-level football across Europe has been put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Italy one of the worst hit countries in the world.

The Italian government has extended its current strict restrictions on movement and outdoor activities until May 3, although plans are now starting to be put in place as to how normal life can be resumed once lockdown is over.

Gravina is determined to ensure the 2019-20 campaign will be played to a finish , rather than abandoning the season and awarding the title to current leaders Juventus, who are one point ahead of Lazio with 12 games left to play of the 38-match calendar.

In an interview with Italian newspaper  Repubblica , Gravina said every avenue for this Serie A season and next would be investigated, including squeezing the 2020-21 campaign into just a few months should the 2019-20 calendar need to be extended right up until the end of this year.

An added complication is the rearrangement of Euro 2020, which will now take place in the summer of 2021, with games across Europe including some in the Italian capital of Rome.

Gravina said: "We evaluate all the hypotheses. One is to organise competitions over a calendar year, but, again, coordination with all European federations is needed. Otherwise, we will have to close the season in May, before the European Championship.

"The 2021 championship could be played in five months. There are ideas on the table, for example a formula with two or more groups and then play-offs. Exceptional changes, only for one season."

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Gravina said there is no set date at which Italian football has to resume, and that they would be flexible in order to start playing again only once it is safe and healthy to do so.

He said: "No, there is not [a date for resumption]. We will go hand in hand with the other European leagues. If they let us play in early June, we have the dates to end in late July, and to follow, the cups.

"If instead we have to start again in September, we will close this championship in November and return to the field in January [for next season]."