Serie A to resume June 20 as Italian government gives green light
Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC / Juventus FC / Getty

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The 2019-20 Serie A season will resume on June 20.

"Italy is getting back on its feet and it is only right that football should do the same," Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said after a conference call with the country's football authorities. "We also received guarantees the process of swabs for players must not affect or detract from the general population's access to testing in any way.

He added: "In the light of all those events, we can today say that the season can resume from June 20."

Serie A has been on hold since March 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It follows in the footsteps of Germany's Bundesliga, which became the first major European league to return earlier this month, and the Premier League, which confirmed Thursday it's provisionally slated to restart June 17.

All matches in Italy will be played behind closed doors. Most clubs have 12 fixtures left on their calendar, while several need to play an additional game to complete the campaign. Reigning champions Juventus sit first in the table, one point up on Lazio.

Before the league games are played on June 20, the second legs of the Coppa Italia semifinals are expected to take place June 13-14. Napoli beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the first leg of their matchup, while Juventus and AC Milan played to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro.

The Coppa Italia final is provisionally set for June 17.

Italian football's first big step toward its eventual return took place earlier this week, when players were allowed to resume group training.

Unsurprisingly, there has been backlash against a potential resumption of the season in previous weeks; Massimo Cellino, owner of last-place side Brescia, said returning to play amid the pandemic was "crazy."

"It's too much for the players," he noted, highlighting the increased likelihood of injuries in the wake of such a long layoff.

Italy has been one of the world's hardest-hit countries during the pandemic, with over 33,000 recorded deaths related to COVID-19.

Serie A to resume June 20 as Italian government gives green light
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