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Giancarlo Abete wants return to 18 teams


Federation President Giancarlo Abete confirms a plan to “return Serie A to 18 teams as soon as possible” and send Europa League semi-finalists into the Champions League.

There have been many clubs critical of the switch to 20 sides in the Italian top flight and it’s reported cutting down could save millions as well as increase competitiveness.

“I can say we all hope to return Serie A to 18 teams as soon as possible,” the FIGC President told RaiSport.

“We are also studying a plan with UEFA to reward the Europa League semi-finalists by giving them qualification for the next season’s Champions League.”

This week Abete wrote a letter of apology to Tottenham and the England FA after seven fans were hospitalised in an anti-Semitic attack.

So far two arrests have been confirmed as Roma ultras, though it is believed the group of hooligans were united by their far right political views.

The FIGC President added that verbal insults and violent imagery around big games such as tonight’s Palermo-Catania derby should be toned down.

“The controversy may well have a positive effect in firing up their own fanbase, but at the same time it feeds the negative rapport with all the others. It creates a damaging image of Italian football, so it would be opportune to show more common sense and responsibility.”
Honestly, I considered this man a complete and utter troll until about 5 minutes ago.  This NEEDS to happen, both the return to 18 teams and his idea of Europa League semi-finalists getting into the CL.  I've been calling for a return to 18 teams since they made the switch to 20, when I was still in some of the more awkward phases of puberty.  His idea for making Italian clubs finally take the Europa League seriously is a great one as well, ingenious actually, provided UEFA allow it.

I like the idea of Europa League semi-finalists qualifying for the Champions League. It does give the competition more credibility and hopefully will persuade teams to take it more seriously.

The idea of going back to 18 teams I was against for a long time, but now I do support it. 4 less games, the players will be fresher, the games should be more intense and less injuries. With league games, friendlies, internationals, european games, cups, ETC players play an already ridiculous amount of games. Moving back to 18 teams should help.

Very delayed, but I used to be against the idea as well, for the benefit of the small teams. But while obviously other factors play a bigger role, the busier schedule hasn't exactly slowed the precipitous drop of the league's UEFA coefficient.  It's sad that we even have to be worrying about this, but it is a real problem.  It'll help all the teams that are still in cups, and like you said, it will hopefully lead to better-rested players and a higher level of play in the 34 rounds...

I think I'm right in saying that UEFA doesn't care who you send to the Champions League/Europe as long as you have a clear system.

There is, in theory, nothing to stop the Premier League awarding the four places to the League champions, the FA Cup winners, the league cup winners and a fourth team determined by play offs between those sides which finish 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Premiership.

The Dutch have a play-off system which means that the team which finishes 9th can get in the Europa League at the expense of the teams in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th (assuming, of course, that none of these has won the Cup, which gets them into the Europa League as of right). It's a bit 'cray-shee' as one might expect of the Dutch. but UEFA doesn't bat an eyelid about it.

So having a qualification system which said that the ECL teams would be the first three, with the team in third being replaced by a team which had finished below them but which had reached the Europa semi-finals, you'd be OK. the problem, of course, comes if you have three semi-finalists, which is very unlikely (but not impossible): what do you do then? Play-offs between them? One that finishes lowest in the League is excluded from the ECL? And what if you have Europa semi-finalists and you get a Liverpool scenario where you have a team which finishes outside the qualification places but wins the ECL? Does that mean that the top three in the league might not qualify?

It's a good idea in theory, but it'd need to be a clear and carefully drafted rule which addressed all the permutation. So thank goodness it'll be the FIGC drawing it u... ooh, hang on...

I think the only issue would come if a national league or association had a system which (say) had the ECL qualifiers being the Champions, 2nd and 3rd placed teams plus Wolverhampton Wanderers no matter where they'd finished...

I'd absolutely love if they could bring back the playoff system as a tiebreaker.. Goal difference and head to head is just so boring..

Hello, stranger! Where have you been hiding!?

Hello again Badman.

I have indeed been a stranger for the past few years...

Don't think for a second that I stopped following though... I check FI website every day without fail and still watch games whenever I have chance... I have no idea why I haven't replied on the forum for such a long time though. I have popped on it a few times just to see what has been happening yet I never usually take the time to reply. I guess it is one of those things that you need to keep the habit going.

Anyway, the past few years have been something of a journey.. I finished undergrad in Florida, moved back to Trinidad for a year and now I have been living in Jamaica for the past 10 months or so.
I am nearing the end of my Master of Public Health degree over here so I have been ridiculously busy as of late.

Anyway, glad to see all the regulars are still around!

badman wrote:
I finished undergrad in Florida, moved back to Trinidad for a year and now I have been living in Jamaica for the past 10 months or so.

Sounds like the stuff of nightmares!

Glad to see you back!
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