Seria A Title to Be Decided with a Playoff Game if Top Teams Finish Level

Ac Milan Lift the Serie A trophy during the U.S. Sassuolo Calcio against AC Milan in May 2022
Ac Milan Lift the Serie A trophy during the U.S. Sassuolo Calcio against AC Milan in May 2022. Photo by Alessio Morgese/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (12952104b)

Italy’s football federation (FIGC) announced earlier this week that a big change is coming to Seria A. Moving forward, if two teams (or more) finish with the same number of points on the standings at the end of the season, the domestic title winner will be decided through playoffs.

In recent decades, the Seria A used head-to-head record in a particular season and goal difference to determine the winner if the top teams were level. Under the new rules, the teams will have to play a single, winner-takes-it-all match. In case the title game finishes tied, a penalty shootout will follow.

The FIGC’s move comes after the 2021-22 Seria A campaign came close to having two teams with the same number of points at the top. Crosstown rivals Inter and Milan were just two points apart entering the season’s final match before Milan secured the title with a win over Sassuolo.

The playoff rule isn’t new for Seria A, as the league used it in the past. Most notably, the winner of 1963–64 title was decided with a playoff match between Bologna and Inter Milan. Bologna went on to beat Inter 2-0. 

It is important to note that the playoff scenario will only take place if the teams at the top of the standings have the same number of points. For all the remaining level teams, the standard rules will apply.

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