Coronavirus Outbreak: Serie A faces prospect of being left without a winner if COVID-19 plays spoilsport again

Milan: The Italian football season could finish without a champion if Serie A is stopped again because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Italian football federation on Monday approved plans for a playoff or the use of an algorithm if the regular season cannot be finished. Serie A clubs had decided on Friday to ask for no champion or relegations.

Juventus, who are chasing a record ninth straight title, were on top of the points table before the league was suspended in March. AP

The latest plans proposed by FIGC president Gabriele Gravina were approved by a unanimous vote. Three Serie A representatives did not take part in the vote.

Serie A has been suspended since 9 March. It is scheduled to resume on 20 June and finish on 2 August.

Playoffs are the preferred idea but an algorithm will be used to determine the final standings if matches cannot be held because of time restrictions or the worsening of the pandemic. But there could be no champion if the algorithm is used unless it is mathematically certain at the point the season is stopped again.

The final point tally of each team will be calculated based on their average points from home and away matches, multiplied by the number of remaining home and away matches and added to the points already earned.

The FIGC also announced that if a team is found to have violated the strict medical protocol established for resuming matches, it could face sanctions ranging from a fine to being excluded from the championship — depending on the severity of the infraction.

If the season cannot be restarted on 20 June, the FIGC has until 10 July to decide whether it can restart. It has been allowed until 20 August to finish.

There are 12 rounds remaining in Serie A, plus four matches that were postponed from the 25th round.

Juventus, which is bidding for a record-extending ninth straight Serie A title, has a one-point advantage over Lazio. Third-place Inter Milan is nine points behind Juventus but has played a match less.

The top two men’s divisions are the only ones set to resume. It was decided on Monday not to restart the women’s Serie A season.

The third division also had its regular season halted. Monza, which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, Vicenza and Reggina have been promoted to Serie B as the leaders of the three groups. There will be a playoff to determine the other team to join them in the second division.

The FIGC also decided that the transfer window will run from 1 September until 5 October.

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