Serie B suspended, awaiting appeal of decision to have 22 teams

Serie B football has been suspended Emmanuele Ciancaglini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Serie B, Italy's second tier, has been suspended by the regional administrative court (Tar) of Lazio, the division's president Franco Frattini has said.

The season started in turmoil with three teams -- Avellino, Cesena and Bari -- going bankrupt and forced to start again from Serie D. And, rather than replace them, the competition began with just 19 rather than the expected 22.

Despite the season starting, there are a series of ongoing appeals from various clubs to have the number of teams in the league extended back to 22. On Sept. 15, the Lazio Tar had upheld Pro Vercelli's appeal over the league's decision to remain at 19 teams with a decision due to be announced on Oct. 9. But Frattini has now revealed that ruling means there be will be no football played until that date.

"The new fact is the Lazio Tar, as well as suspending the ruling, has also suspended the league," Frattini told inBlu Radio. "It is clear that, while we wait until the result of Tar's order on Oct. 9 it will not be possible to play in Serie B.

"And this appears impossible to me given the sporting passion of millions of fans. Therefore, on Friday, Sept. 21, the board Guarantee Committee will re-examine the idea of a whole new line-up.

"The Committee will decide whether Serie B should have 22 or 19 teams. If we decide there should be 22, next Monday [Sept. 24], we will decide which three out of the six teams will be brought in.

"We don't engage in sporting politics but look at the standards."