Wednesday, 9 May 2007

FIGC push for early season start

There is a battle developing over the Serie A start date, with the FIGC pushing for August 19 and the clubs preferring to start a week later.

Last week a meeting of the Presidents headed by Lega Calcio chief Antonio Matarrese decided that the new season should kick off on August 26.

However, the Federation is eager to bring it forward to the originally proposed date a week earlier, giving the players more time to prepare for Italy's crunch Euro 2008 qualifiers.

"We will work during this time of meetings to ensure the August 19 date is taken seriously," said FIGC President Giancarlo Abete this evening. "In any case, we should also remember that in the last 10 years the campaign has never kicked off before the 26th."

The fact that Serie A begins much later than the Leagues in England, France, Spain and Germany has often been blamed for a lack of match fitness in the early stages of the Champions League and UEFA Cup.

But there are more important matters at risk this year, as the World champions face France in a decisive Euro 2008 qualifier on September 8 and the Ukraine four days later.

These teams are the Azzurri’s main rivals in Group B, as they are both on 12 points after five games, while Italy have 10.

"September is always a difficult month for the Italy side. We hope that the importance of the Nazionale’s encounter with France will push the Lega Calcio to share our August 19 choice."

[Lega Calcio sets start date for new Serie A season]

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