Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Mid-August start for Serie A?

The Lega Calcio chief Antonio Matarrese has picked August 19 as a possible start date for the next Serie A season.

“We have no problems in starting our season on August 19,” explained Matarrese this evening.

The campaign usually kicks off in the first week of September, but with crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers against France on September 8 and the Ukraine four days later, it’s feared that the national team’s form will still be shaky.

“We still have to wait for the UEFA calendar to be finalised, but as far as we are concerned, the 2007-08 term could begin on August 19 and conclude on May 18.”

However, this would mean shortening the winter break so that play resumed on the Befana festivity – an Italian version of Boxing Day.

“I have to alert the President of the Players’ Association Sergio Campana, because we intend to play on January 6 so that there will be only two midweek rounds,” concluded Matarrese.

The Azzurri’s form in the opening Euro 2008 qualifiers suffered badly due to the lack of match fitness in their players. Roberto Donadoni’s men managed just a 1-1 draw with Lithuania and 3-1 defeat in France in the first week of September.

The 2006-07 Serie A season didn’t begin until after those ties, on September 8 and 9, due to delays from the Calciopoli scandal.

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