The Italian government has announced that all sporting events in the country will take place without fans for at least the next month due to the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The government has suspended all congresses, meetings, gatherings, social events and sports events and competitions of all types in a bid to limit the spread of the virus. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued the decree yesterday (Wednesday).
Teams will still be permitted to train behind closed doors without the presence of the public. Medical staff will be required to carry out routine checks to contain the risk of spreading the virus among athletes.
More than 100 people have died from the coronavirus in Italy, with more than 3,000 having been infected with COVID-19. The ban on fans attending sporting events will be in place until April 3.
A handful of Serie A football matches have been postponed over the past two match days but a full round of fixtures is set to go ahead this weekend, albeit with no fans in attendance.
According to estimations of playing three rounds of Serie A fixtures behind closed doors, around 810,000 tickets are not being sold (based on 30 games x average of 27,000 tickets).
It means that Juventus’ UEFA Champions League match against French side Lyon at Allianz Stadium (pictured) on March 17 will be played behind closed doors. AS Roma and Inter Milan are also scheduled to play in the UEFA Europa League, with the latter having last week played at an empty San Siro for its match against Ludogorets.
Italy’s Six Nations match against England, scheduled for March 14, has also been called off entirely, according to reports. Italy had been due to travel to Ireland in the Six Nations this weekend but that match has already been postponed.