The latest match cancellation in Italy puts the calendar in a dramatic situation, and the league's response to the crisis leaves a lot to be desired and threatens to ruin what has been an historically great Serie A season.
The second leg of the Italian Cup semi-final between Juventus and AC Milan, originally schedule for this Wednesday, has been postponed to a later date to be confirmed, it was announced on Tuesday. The other semi-final, Napoli vs Inter Milan, was officially postponed this morning as well.
This is another high-profile match postponed in Italian football as the country attempts to deal with the spread of the Coronavirus, but Lega Serie A, the organization in charge of the Italian league, has been heavily criticized for their inconsistent and confusing handling of the cancellations.
Inter Milan president Steven Zhang unleashed a strong statement against Lega Serie A chairman Paolo Dal Pino after his club's potentially title-deciding match against Juventus last Sunday was cancelled at the last minute. Zhang especially critcized the league's lack of planning and inconsistency in dealing with the crisis.
Zhang has a point. Lega Serie A continues to postpone hugely important matches to later dates when there are only two months left in the season, which has already put the calendar in a dramatic position. At the same time, he allowed games such as Lecce vs Atalanta to take place last weekend, when those two teams are from regions heavily affected by the virus. To make things worse, fans were allowed at the stadium.
Lecce vs Atalanta was, incidentally, a spectacular nine-goal affair, but that's beside the point. Lega Serie A do not seem to follow their own very confusing guidelines, and it appears as though they're making up their protocol as they go along. To top it off, there's been no collaboration or intelligent debate with the 20 teams who are part of the league and should have a sizeable input.
This Serie A season has been one of the greatest in recent history, with Lazio, Juventus and Inter Milan seemingly trading first place every week, but the people in charge of the league are somehow finding a way to ruin it.