The Latest: Italy approves plan for soccer league

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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Italian soccer federation has approved plans for a playoff or the use of an algorithm with no champion declared if the season is stopped again.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus outbreak. It is scheduled to resume on June 20.

The plans were approved by an 18-3 vote at an FIGC council meeting. Italian soccer clubs had asked for no champion or relegations unless mathematically certain.

Playoffs are the preferred idea but an algorithm will be used to determine the final standings if matches cannot be held because of time restrictions or the worsening of the pandemic. But there will not be a champion if the algorithm is used.

The top two men’s divisions are the only ones set to resume their regular seasons. The women’s Serie A will not restart.

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English soccer club Brighton is offering fans the chance to have cardboard cutouts of themselves in the stadium when the Premier League resumes.

Games in the league will be closed to spectators for the remainder of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Five of Brighton’s nine remaining games are at home. The first is on June 20 against Arsenal.

Fans need to send in a photo wearing a Brighton jersey and pay $25.

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Italy’s female soccer players are against the possibility of a playoff format to finish their season.

A decision on whether and how the Serie A women’s league will resume is expected to be made during an Italian soccer federation meeting.

One of the proposals is to have playoffs. That would involve half of the 12 Serie A teams.

A statement by the Serie A women’s players says they are against it because “it doesn’t guarantee true fairness.”

They say “we all go out on the field or no one does.”

Juventus, AC Milan and Sassuolo are the only three clubs which have managed to resume training. Many of the clubs also have players who are still abroad.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

FILE – In this July 16, 2014, file photo, a student walks through empty seats inside Kenan Stadium at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., where preparations continue for the upcoming college football season. The crippling grip the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sports world has forced universities, leagues and franchises to evaluate how they might someday welcome back fans. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
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