Italy’s Serie B has been suspended until further notice following a dispute over whether the league should house 19 or 22 teams this season.
An appeal court ruled in favour of third tier side Pro Vercelli and has decided to suspend matches across both leagues until a resolution can be had.
The row stems from the financial collapse of three Serie B clubs, namely Bari, Avelino and Cesena, who have left the division three teams lighter after hitting rock bottom.
It was initially decided that the league would continue with just 19 sides. But that was met by vehement protest from third division outfits Pro Vercelli, Siena, Novara, Catania and Ternana, who argued that three clubs should be promoted.
The case, which had been going on for several weeks, saw CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) declare their appeal inadmissible. However, Pro Vercelli got the go-ahead from the TAR tribunal to suspend the ruling from the Olympic Committee last Friday.
The appeal panel have since decided to suspend matches in both the second and third tier until a final decision is made on October 9.
“The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, in addition to suspending the sentence, has suspended the League,” the CONI appeals court chief told InBlu Radio (via Football Italia).
“On Friday 21, the Guarantee Committee will review the issue in a completely new light and that’s when it’ll be decided if Serie B goes ahead with 22 or 19 teams.
“If it’s the former [22 teams], the three teams [who are promoted] will be decided on Monday.”
Serie B suspended. What a mess this is turning out to be
— Mark (@ATrueCule) September 18, 2018
Serie B are already three games deep this season, while all but eight of the teams in Serie C have played one fixture each.