FIGC President Gabriele Gravina: “If We Start The League In May, It Can Be Completed Before The End Of June”

FIGC President Gabriele Gravina: “If We Start The League In May, It Can Be Completed Before The End Of June”
March 15, 2020 12:30
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FIGC president Gabriele Gravina gave some ideas about how the end of the Serie A season could come about in an interview in today’s paper edition of the Rome based newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

First, Gravina discussed whether Euro 2020 would be postponed in order to allow the leagues to finish with regularity, or whether the league and cups must be stopped.

“We’ll decide on Tuesday. But one thing must be said. The evolution of the epidemic traces a clear path. We are all involved in the same way. Nobody can think that this is an Italian problem anymore. Our country is only two weeks ahead of the rest of Europe. We must all put our health first and then let common sense prevail. And common sense says that defending only one major European event, scheduled for June, would be a strategic mistake.”

He confirmed that all the clubs and the League are on the same page.

“There is no alternative. We’re told by projections of mathematical models of the virus’ development. The European Championship is the cap to the almost certain slippage of many leagues. If you don’t remove the cork, the bottle explodes and you risk losing everything.”

Gravina confirmed that June 30th was the deadline for the league to be completed, due to players’ contracts.

“We have a dead line. It’s June 30th. Then we’re running down contracts, insurance, licenses. The football year ends. To go any further is to introduce some very exceptional regulatory changes. In two months, we’ll get it all done with certainty. Even if we start in May, it can be done.”

The FIGC president highlighted how there are more problems to consider than just who to award the league title to.

“Everyone thinks the only problem is who to award the Scudetto. But we have to establish who goes into the Champions League and the Europa League, who goes down to Serie B, who goes up to Serie A, who goes down to Serie C and who goes up to Serie B. Does that seem small to you?”

He suggested that it’s even a possibility that nobody is awarded the league title.

“Theoretically one might not even award the title, but everything else has to be established. To give up promotion and relegation would be a violation of the subjective interests of many companies.”

Gravina didn’t want to consider freezing the current league table and using that for the many issues.

“I think that freezing the table is a mistake to avoid. The value of the competition must be preserved. We need to give a chance to those who have invested so much in a sporting goal. That means playing as hard as we can. To get ahead with the league and finish it, if possible.”

The FIGC president confirmed that they would look for any solution to finish the league.

“Find a formula to save the competition.”

Including using playoffs.

“Playoff and playout.”

He discussed how not all clubs agree with that solution.

“It seems normal to me that not everyone agrees. But the rules have to be set now, before we start playing again. And the Federation has the final say, not others.”

Gravina defended the measures taken by the League and FIGC early on in the Coronavirus emergency.

“In the first days of the health crisis, there was an open debate in football. There was a government decree that allowed them to play, albeit behind closed doors. And there was the position of the licensees on the games, who were claiming compensation if they didn’t play. It was between a rock and a hard place. It wasn’t an easy choice. Those who portrayed us as careless, did so artfully for the sake of personal positioning within our world.”

He also defended the decision to postpone the Derby d’Italia between Inter and Juventus.

“It was a sin of optimism, because we hoped to play the game the following Monday with doors open.”

Gravina spoke about the words of the many club presidents during the debates related to the emergency.

“Yes, this individualism is a disease that football pays dearly for. I hope that the forced isolation, to which the emergency calls us, will make many people reflect. If we don’t get it right, we’ll damage each other.”

Finally, Gravina confirmed that he has trust in Lega Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino.

“He’s doing a great job, at a not easy time. He deserves respect and support.”

By Apollo Heyes
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