Italian football to return on June 12 with Coppa Italia semi-finals

Italian football will return on June 12 with the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg matches, the country's minister for sport Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed.

The first legs of the last four ties took place back in February, with Milan and Juventus playing out a 1-1 draw at San Siro and Napoli earning a 1-0 victory over Inter at the same venue.

The coronavirus outbreak saw all football in Italy cancelled indefinitely in March, but the action is set to get back underway later this month following the easing of lockdown restrictions across the country.

Juventus and Milan will play their second leg match on June 12, with Napoli and Inter to meet the day after before the final takes place just days later on June 17.

The remaining four teams had raised concerns over the June 17 final after returning to training, with limited time to prepare following three months away from the pitch, however the date has not been changed.

The semi-final ties were originally scheduled to take place on June 13 and 14, but the government has accepted a request from Serie A to move the two fixtures forward by an extra day.

Juve and Milan will now face off next Friday, with Spadafora announcing the decision via a Facebook live-stream: "The recovery of football with the Italian Cup, as desired, will take place.

"The two semi-finals have also been brought forward to have a tight schedule. The first will be on June 12, then 13 for the second and 17 the final."

The showpiece event will take place at Stadio Olimpico, where the Coppa Italia trophy has spent the last year after Lazio's win over Atalanta in the 2019 final.

Serie A is due to restart three days after the final, on June 20, with Juventus currently in pole position to win the Scudetto for an unprecedented ninth successive season.

Maurizio Sarri's men sat top of the standings on 63 points before play was stopped due to Covid-19, one ahead of Lazio and nine ahead of third place Inter who have played a game less than their title rivals.

The Italian top-flight will be the fourth of Europe's top five major leagues to resume amid the continued threat of coronavirus, as the Bundesliga became the first to restart on May 18.

Spain's La Liga is due to reopen its doors on June 11, while the Premier League is expected to recommence in England six days later.