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All Italian sports events forced behind closed doors over coronavirus

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19:51 4 Mar 2020

The Italian government says all sporting events in the country must be played behind closed doors until April 3 due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The decree covers all parts of the country, not just the north which had been most affected by the outbreak.

England's Six Nations game with Italy - scheduled for Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday-week - must be played without any fans. Whether the game can be broadcast remains to be seen, with ITV abandoning plans to send a crew to the Olimpico.

While all football from Serie A downwards will also be played behind closed doors. This week's Coppa Italia semi-finals involving Juventus and Inter, and AC Milan and Genoa had already been postponed.

Ten Serie A games have already been postponed prior to the latest government direction.

The number of positive tests in Italy stands at over 3,000 but 2,706 of those are currently suffering from the illness. 107 people in Italy have died from the virus - the most of any country outside of China.

Schools and universities in Italy will also be closed until March 15 in an attempt to curb the outbreak.

Inter president Steven Zhang told BBC Sport he agreed with the measures as they helped the virus from spreading, "Closing doors but continuing matches is the right thing to do."

It's thought that Serie A will pick up where it left off, rather than back-logging games.

 

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Coppa Italia Coronavirus England Inter Italy Juventus Lega Calcio Serie A Six Nations

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