Serie A Considering Playoffs, Potentially Not Awarding Title amid Coronavirus

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 10, 2020

Juventus' players celebrate their victory over Inter Milan at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Inter Milan, at the Juventus stadium in Turin on March 8, 2020. - The match is played behind closed doors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Serie A is reportedly considering playoffs, potentially not awarding the title and using the current table to decide how to end the 2019-20 season after it was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Italian government suspended all sporting events across the country Monday until April 3 and placed the entire country under lockdown, per BBC Sport.

Lega Pro President Francesco Ghirelli has given an update on how Italian football is planning to continue after attending the FIGC summit Tuesday, per Football Italia:

"We are evaluating the idea that every league will decide autonomously what to do next. The idea is to finish the season by playing all the games, but we have to consider the alternative options too. Among these options are not assigning the Scudetto, assigning it using the current table or organising play-offs."

Serie A has been severely disrupted by the coronavirus. A host of games have already been called off, while there was chaos during the most recent round of fixtures.

Parma's Serie A match against SPAL kicked off 75 minutes late after the Italian minister of sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, called for the competition to be halted, as shown by sports writer Adriano Del Monte:

Adriano Del Monte @adriandelmonte

#ParmaSPAL ⚽️ 12.30pm - On 12.35pm - Off The Italian Minister of Sport asks the Federation to stop all Serie A with immediate effect. 1.15pm - On 1.45pm - Game will commence 🤷‍♂️

Sunday's matches were subsequently held behind closed doors, including the biggest game of the 2019-20 season so far between Juventus and Inter Milan at the Allianz Arena:

Cristian Nyari @Cnyari

So eerie watching Juve vs Inter in an empty stadium...you can hear the players talking to each other...

The two Coppa Italia semi-finals between AC Milan and Juventus and Napoli and Inter Milan have also been called off with no decision taken on when they might rescheduled.

UEFA Champions League games have also been affected. A raft of last-16 second legs will be played behind closed doors including Barcelona's game against Napoli and Atalanta's trip to Valencia.

La Liga and the Bundesliga have also taken the decision to play some games without supporters:

B/R Football @brfootball

The coronavirus continues to affect football https://t.co/NGAGNHOF1K

Serie A must now decide how to complete the season, although Ghirelli also said they are not considering expanding the league to 22 teams and promoting two clubs from Serie B, per Football Italia.

Yet it looks almost impossible to complete the remaining fixtures by the end date of May 24. Extending the season is also problematic as the UEFA 2020 European Championship is due to start on June 12.

Juventus are currently top of the table by a point from Lazio after 26 games. Bresica, SPAL and Lecce make up the bottom three.