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The football segment of the sport industry and the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy: a conflict analysis

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Luca Bifulco


In Italy the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the stop of all sports competitions for the 2019/2020 season. While most disciplines decided to permanently cancel competitions, the football segment – especially Serie A – of the sport industry considered the possibility of resuming and completing the Championship as well as the Coppa Italia. This consideration was due to the economic importance of Italian professional football. This chapter aims to reconstruct the conflictual arena and the contentious debate that arose around the possibility of resuming game. The protagonists of the debate were the main actors of the Italian football and political world, groups with different - often conflicting - interests and perspectives: the government, the FIGC (the Italian Football Federation), the Serie A League and their respective clubs, the media, the Footballers' Associations, and the medical front. The multifaceted conflict included various issues in different fields (e.g., economy, health, entertainment, sports results, relegations, qualifications for European competitions). Complex power relationships were played out, and the conflict seemed to be based on an intricate balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Bifulco, 2022. "The football segment of the sport industry and the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy: a conflict analysis," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 29, pages 359-374, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_29

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