The chances to resume the 2019-2020 football season in Italy, which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, are slim, the country’s minister for sports and youth policy said on Wednesday.

“I see that the path to resuming the league is getting narrower. If I were a president of a football club, I would especially think of organizing myself to safely resume the next championship which will start at the end of August,” Vincenzo Spadafora told Italian television channel La 7.

He added: “I think the next meeting of the Lega Serie A may hold a surprise. Most of the clubs would want us to end this season and prepare for the next one.”

Underlining that it was pointless to press the government and the prime minister to resume the league, Spadaforo said they may allow beginning with training by May 18.

Even if the tournament starts again, he added, the matches will be played behind closed doors.

Serie A was suspended on March 9, but demands to restart it are growing as countries begin to lift virus restrictions.

Gabriele Gravina, head of the Italian Football Federation, has said that failure to complete Serie A play would harm the sport in Italy, adding that he called for an executive board meeting on May 8.

More than 27,000 virus-linked deaths have thus far been reported in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

*Writing by Muhammed Enes Calli

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