Saturday, 5 May 2007

Lega Calcio plan radical changes

The Italian Super Cup will be played overseas, while radical changes to the format of the Coppa Italia have been proposed by the Lega Calcio on Friday.

The SuperCoppa Italia kicks-off the Italian football season with a clash between the Scudetto holders and Coppa Italia winners.

Earlier this season it took place at the San Siro in Milan with Inter emerging 4-3 winners over Roma, but over the past few years it has been increasingly farmed out to other cities such as New York in the USA and Tripoli in Libya.

"We have received offers from China, North America and the Middle East to host the Super Cup," revealed Lega Calcio President Antonio Matarrese. "
There is an abundance of choices."

The Lega Calcio meeting in Milan also worked through proposals on how to change the Coppa Italia - which has lost interest amongst clubs and fans over the past few years. Changes could mean repercussions as to how teams qualify for European competitions.

"In our view it would be right to give three automatic Champions League places to the top teams in the table, then allow a preliminary round spot for the Coppa Italia winners. It should begin from 2009, assuming UEFA accept our proposal."

In the current format, the first two sides enter the competition directly, while third and fourth go through the preliminary round.

"We are also planning a new Coppa Italia system without Serie C or D teams. There are seven different formats being scrutinised at the moment, depending on the type of television deal we will find."

Clubs in Serie C and D already have their own versions of the Coppa Italia.

The new Serie A season will kick off on August 26, 2007 and there are also changes in mind here. "This term’s experiment of a three-week Christmas/Winter break will not be repeated, so we are returning to the traditional two weeks. It should not be a problem, as we are spreading the midweek rounds out differently thanks to the new Coppa Italia format," explained Matarrese.

"The first two midweek rounds will be between September and October, with another between February and March."

Meanwhile, for the first time a trophy will be handed out to the winners of the Serie B Championship. It will be assigned to the Champions on the final day of the regular Cadetti season on June 10. In the top flight, Inter will recieve their Scudetto trophy after their final game against Torino on May 27.

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