Serie A Given Green Light to Return on June 20

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Serie A has been given the green light to return on June 20, per Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora.

Spadafora reached the decision Thursday during a video conference with Italian soccer authorities. He said Serie A will restart on June 20, though the Italian Cup semifinals and the final could be played on June 13 and 17.

Clubs voted earlier this month to restart on June 13 but the government extended its ban on sporting events until June 14. 

“The meeting was very useful,” Spadafora said, according to the Associated Press. “Now Italy is starting again and it is right that soccer starts again too.

“If the curve changes and the league has to be stopped again, the Italian soccer federation has assured me that there exists a plan B–playoffs–and also a plan C–leaving the standings as they are.”

The season has been halted since March 9 when Italy went into lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Italy has been one of the countries in Europe hit hardest during the pandemic with at least 231,700 confirmed cases of the virus and over 33,000 deaths.

Serie A's return will mark the fourth major European soccer league to restart.

The Bundesliga, Germany's top flight, resumed over a week ago without fans, and La Liga received permission over the weekend to resume behind closed doors from June 8. Earlier on Thursday, Premier League clubs decided on a plan to return on June 17 as long as all safety requirements are in place.

Serie A has 12 rounds of match days left to play, as well as four games postponed from earlier rounds. Juventus, who is seeking its ninth-straight title, holds a one-point lead over Lazio.