International

Italy closes sports events to fans until April over virus fears

2020-03-05 07:17
coronavirus
Football staff wearing a mask for coronavirus outbreak (Getty Images)

Italy ordered that all major sporting events be held behind closed doors until April 3 as the country grapples with the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The measure was announced as the Italian government stepped up its response to an epidemic that has killed 107 people and infected more than 3 000 others in Italy in the past two weeks.

In a decree released on Wednesday, the government states that "all sporting events and competitions of all types, whether private or public" can proceed "in sports facilities behind closed doors - namely in the open air but without the presence of the public".

This week's Italian Cup semi-finals - Juventus against AC Milan in Turin and Napoli's clash with Inter Milan at the Stadio San Paolo - have been postponed because of the outbreak.

No new dates for the matches have been announced and the May 13 final is now likely to be postponed for at least a week.

The spread of the virus has played havoc with Serie A, with 10 matches postponed over the last fortnight and a huge row brewing between clubs and the country's top football league over the scheduling of fixtures.

The six games shelved from the round - including the title clash between Juve and Inter - are expected to be moved to the coming weekend, with every other matchday pushed back a week.

Italy's Six Nations rugby union match against Ireland in Dublin, scheduled for Saturday, has already been postponed, and there are now serious doubts about the visit to Rome of England the following weekend.

The Davis Cup tennis qualifier between Italy and South Korea in Cagliari on Friday and Saturday will also have to be held without fans.

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  italy  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.