At this point of the calendar two years ago, Italy was in the first few weeks of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s early stages. We didn’t know what the schedule would look like when the football returned, but we knew it was going to be an absolute crunch because of there being a season that needed to be finished during a time in which that’s usually not the case.
With the World Cup being played in November and December because, well, Qatar is happening, it will create quite the situation in which we’ve never seen before — nearly two months at the end of the calendar year in which there will be no club football.
Because of this, Serie A has reportedly been doing some thinking. You know, thinking of a way to occupy its players — and make a little bit of money and expose the brand a little bit more than it is now — for close to two months while the World Cup is going on. As reported by Tuttosport on Friday, this could very well end up involving a friendly tournament of sorts — something that the Turin-based publication has dubbed the “Serie A Cup” — that will be played outside of Italy and have the aim of ensuring that Serie A’s teams aren’t just sitting around and not playing any sort of game action for the span of the World Cup break.
There are two reported potential locations for this tournament if it does take place: the United States — specifically in Florida — or the United Arab Emirates. The draw for choosing the United States would be, according to Tuttosport’s report, the fact that so many players are already drawn to that area of the country as well as the chance to try and grow the league more. (Which, when it comes during a time in which the world — especially most fans in the U.S. — is surrounding pretty much all of its football-related thoughts on the World Cup seems a little ... odd. Or maybe just perfectly Italian, I dunno.)
Serie A will reportedly start its 2022-23 season the weekend of Aug. 13-14, with the final round before the World Cup break happening Nov. 13. With the semifinals and final at the World Cup happening right before Christmas, Serie A won’t restart domestic action until the new year in January.
Serie A chief executive Luigi De Siervo hinted at some sort of organized event taking place outside of Italy during an interview with Reuters last month:
“We want to keep our players fit while promoting ourselves in a market which we consider strategic.”
A final decision on a friendly tournament taking place during the World Cup is expected before the end of the current season. (So, you’ll be able to make your plans soon, folks!)