September 22, 2017 / 12:58 PM / 9 months ago

Napoli president says 16-team Serie A would be more competitive

(Reuters) - Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis would like the number of teams competing in Serie A cut from 20 to 16, he told the Italian radio programme 24 Mattino on Friday.

FILE PHOTO - Napoli club Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis gestures during a news conference after Edinson Cavani (not pictured) renewed his contract until 2017, in Naples August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

“In 1986, the teams in Serie A were 16. Then, who knows why, we became 20” said the Neapolitan film producer.

“If we were still 16, with just one relegation, we would all be happier and more competitive.”

In 1988, the number of teams in Serie A was increased to 18, and it was changed again in 2004 to the current 20.

Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio has in recent years voiced his support for reducing the number of clubs competing in Italy’s top flight.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said last December that he would also prefer an 18-team Serie A.

Even though Tavecchio said in January that the idea was “purely utopian”, last month he suggested that it could be possible to achieve a reduction of two teams in each of Italy’s professional leagues within three years.

Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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