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Italian FA head refuses to write off the Serie A season
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  • 26 Mar 20
  • Soccer
  • 4
FILE PHOTO: Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Chairman Gabriele Gravina speaks to the media in Rome, Italy, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo 691px 444px FILE PHOTO: Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Chairman Gabriele Gravina speaks to the media in Rome, Italy, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italian soccer boss Gabriele Gravina is refusing to write off the Serie A season due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying the league could extend into July and August if necessary.

Italy has seen more coronavirus fatalities than any other country, with latest figures showing that 7,503 people have died from the infection in barely a month.

The northern region of Lombardy, by far the hardest-hit, showed a steep decline in the number of deaths and new infections in the latest figures on Wednesday, raising hopes that the epidemic may be slowing at its original epicentre.

However, optimism was tempered by warnings from the south, where contagion and deaths are far less widespread but are rising steadily.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and players from several clubs have tested positive for the virus.

"I don't give up easily," Gravina, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), said in an interview with Radio Marte.

"As long as there is a chance, I will keep alive the hope of restarting the championships. I am aware that it is premature to think about a date, but we must think positively, also for the health of the Italians, and hope that this situation ends as soon as possible."

There are 12 match days still to play, plus several outstanding matches, and Gravina estimated the league could be completed in 45 to 60 days. "If we are given the month of July and August, that could be the right period," he said.

He also stood by an earlier suggestion to use a playoff system to decide the league if there was not enough time to complete the original schedule, and said it could be a interesting idea for the future.

"I proposed it only as a lifeboat. But for the future we'll work on it because, for me, it remains an interesting idea and I hope one day it can be shared by the protagonists, so as to give even more interest to Serie A".

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

2019 English PL Fixtures & Results

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2019/2020 Premier League
2019/2020 Bundesliga
2019/2020 Serie A
2019/2020 La Liga
2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
2019/2020 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2018 World Cup
2019 English PL Standings

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  • Group
  • e
Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 82 29 27 1 1 66 21 +45 82
2 Manchester City MAC 57 28 18 3 7 68 31 +37 57
3 Leicester City LEI 53 29 16 5 8 58 28 +30 53
4 Chelsea CHE 48 29 14 6 9 51 39 +12 48
5 Manchester United MUN 45 29 12 9 8 44 30 +14 45
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 43 29 10 13 6 41 34 +7 43
7 Sheffield United SHE 43 28 11 10 7 30 25 +5 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 41 29 11 8 10 47 40 +7 41
9 Arsenal ARS 40 28 9 13 6 40 36 +4 40
10 Burnley BUR 39 29 11 6 12 34 40 -6 39
11 Crystal Palace CRY 39 29 10 9 10 26 32 -6 39
12 Everton EVE 37 29 10 7 12 37 46 -9 37
13 Newcastle United NEW 35 29 9 8 12 25 41 -16 35
14 Southampton SOU 34 29 10 4 15 35 52 -17 34
15 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 29 29 6 11 12 32 40 -8 29
16 West Ham United WES 27 29 7 6 16 35 50 -15 27
17 Watford WAT 27 29 6 9 14 27 44 -17 27
18 AFC Bournemouth BOU 27 29 7 6 16 29 47 -18 27
19 Aston Villa AST 25 28 7 4 17 34 56 -22 25
20 Norwich City NOR 21 29 5 6 18 25 52 -27 21
*e1 & e2 advances to R16, e3 possible R16
2019/2020 Premier League
2019/2020 Bundesliga
2019/2020 Serie A
2019/2020 La Liga
2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2019/2020 UEFA Europa League
2019/2020 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2018 World Cup
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