Italian government officials gave their approval for the return of Serie A soccer in late June, they announced Thursday.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said play will return June 20, about a week after a national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire.
"Italy is starting up again and it's only right that football can also get going," Spadafora told reporters following a conference call with representatives from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the players' association and the Serie A league.. "In the light of this we can say that the championship can start again on June 20."
The approval is contingent on the nation not suffering a flare-up of the virus and the necessary testing for play "should not affect the general needs of all Italian citizens," Spadafora added.
Juventus was a point ahead of Lazio, with 12 matches remaining for both clubs, when play was halted on March 10.
Two Coppa Italia semifinal second legs and the final still need to be played, as well, but league officials say they look forward to ironing out any remaining details to see soccer again.
"The restart of football is a message of hope for the whole country. I am happy and satisfied," said FIGC president Gabriele Gravina, who added he's also seeking a return of women's play.
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