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Coronavirus could see Serie A use playoff for scudetto, relegation places

Serie A

REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY - MARCH 09: A general view inside the empty stadium as fans cannot attend the match due to the medical emergency Covid-19 (Coronavirus) prior to the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Brescia Calcio at Mapei Stadium - Citta del Tricolore on March 9, 2020 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

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Serie A may not be able to properly conclude its season due to the coronavirus, and reports say Italian football president Gabriele Gravina has three alternatives.

One would be to call the season now in favor of Juventus, who has a one-point lead over Lazio and hosts the Roman side on April 26.

Another is a playoff system to determine the scudetto winners, European combatants, and relegated sides.

A third is to not award a champion, which would be a monumental statement.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Here’s Gravina, via Football-Italia:

“We hope that the season can be concluded as planned, because if we do resume on April 3, there are certain windows to make up for these postponed games,” said Gravina. “I took it upon myself to launch the idea of play-offs and play-outs, helping to respect the values of sporting competition. It would involve the four top teams in the play-off for the Scudetto and the last four in the play-outs to decide relegation. The FIGC will then indicate to UEFA who will participate in the European competitions next season.”

Juventus, Lazio, Inter Milan, and Atalanta are currently first through fourth, while the bottom four are Genoa, Lecce, SPAL, and Brescia. The latter part is especially treacherous as SPAL and Brescia are well off Genoa and Lecce’s 25 points.

Games in Serie A are currently postponed. Juventus and Atalanta remain alive in the Champions League, while Inter Milan and Roma begin Europa League ties on Thursday.

Chelsea will visit Bayern Munich at an empty Allianz Arena for a Champions League second leg next week. Manchester United’s Europa League game at LASK in Austria will be played behind-closed-doors, and matches in Spain’s La Liga will be played in empty stadiums until early April.

The San Jose Earthquakes’ next home match, March 21, is 11 days away and the Santa Clara Public Health Department has banned all gatherings over 1000 people.

It’s going to get weirder before it gets better for sports in the wake of coronavirus fears.