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Italian Soccer Targets June 13 Return, Optimism Grows in NBA

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
May/13/2020

Following news that German and Spain soccer is set to return in the coming weeks, Italian Serie A soccer is now targeting June 13 for its reboot.  Italy was among the most devastated countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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The news comes following a video call with all 20 clubs in the Italian league on Wednesday.

The return is subject to government approval.

"As far as the resumption of sports activities is concerned, the date of June 13 for the resumption of the championship has been indicated... in accordance with medical protocols for the protection of players and all those involved," said Serie A in a statement.

Serie A said the clubs had also called on broadcasting rights holders to "respect the payment deadlines set out in the contracts in order to maintain a constructive relationship with them." 

When the league was suspended in March, Serie A giants Juventus -- who are looking to win their ninth consecutive title -- were just one point ahead of Lazio who haven't won the league since 2000.

Optimism Grows in NBA

Participants on a board of governors call Tuesday with NBA commissioner Adam Silver left the virtual meeting feeling increasingly positive about the league's momentum toward a resumption of play this season, sources told ESPN. 

Owners and executives on the call were encouraged about the league's progress toward minimizing health risk upon a return and the league office's positive conversations with the National Basketball Players Association about the players' desire to eventually restart the season, sources said. 

Discussions centered on health and safety concerns, including the goal of getting team officials and players comfortable with the idea that a positive test for the coronavirus upon a return would not shutter play. 

Silver told those on the call that if a positive test would "shut us down, we probably shouldn't go down this path." 

The question remains: How many positive tests would be too many? That is among the questions that the NBA, NBPA and medical experts have to come to terms with in the coming weeks before the league and union can greenlight a resumption of play. 

Once the NBA formalizes a return to play, the league indicated to teams that the plan would be to standardize coronavirus testing among the 30 teams, sources said. For now, the NBA is allowing teams to use a variety of tests.

The league is yet to determine the format of play such as a play-in tournament to give more teams a chance to make the 16-team playoff field.

These are the factors the league is studying over these next few weeks before resuming the season:

Understanding the trajectory of new cases in those states starting to reopen, understanding who is getting severely ill and why, and developments in testing types. The NBA also is studying how other leagues are handling positive tests among participants, sources said. 

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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