MILAN ( Associated Press) – Starting next season, the Italian league title will be decided by the playoffs if the top two in the table draw on the same number of points.
The Italian Football Federation announced the regulation change after receiving the approval of Serie A clubs.
Previously, direct results intervened as the first tiebreaker criterion in the event that two teams finished on points equal, something that was about to crystallize the previous season.
Milan won the Scudetto on the final day of the campaign, thanks to an away victory against Sassuolo, two points ahead of defending champions Inter. In the event of a tie for the Rossoneri, they could still win the title by defeating their city rival in straight doubles.
There will be no extra time in the deciding playoff game, so they will go straight to penalties if they finish level after 90 minutes.
If the team finishes with the same number of points at the other places in the table, the direct result will be a tiebreaker.
Prior to the 2005–06 season, Italy resorted to a playoff in the European Cup in terms of ties for the title, relegation or places that decided.
Many other leagues, such as the English Premier League, use goal difference as the first tiebreaker.
A playoff only defined Serie A champions in 1964, when Bologna defeated Inter 2–0 to win the last of their seven Scudates. If they had appealed for direct results, Inter would have been sanctified.