Pro14 fixtures in Italy postponed due to coronavirus outbreak
Zebre v Ospreys and Benetton v Ulster have both been postponed until further notice
Zebre’s home pitch, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, in Parma. Photograph: Federico Matteucci/Inpho
Both Pro14 fixtures set to take place in Italy this weekend have been postponed due to the restrictions enforced by national and local authorities dealing with the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
Organisers say the contingency-planning around the rescheduling of the round 13 games — Zebre v Ospreys and Benetton v Ulster - are currently underway.
The restrictions on public gatherings and sporting events put in place by the Italian authorities apply in the Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions and have already seen a Women’s Six Nations game and four Serie A football fixtures postponed over the weekend.
Fixtures in Italy’s national rugby championship, Top 12, and all domestic rugby activities have also been postponed ahead of this weekend.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) latest report has listed 78 countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
In a statement released on Monday, the Pro14 said: “To ensure the safety of our players and spectators Pro14 rugby fully supports the preventative measures taken in Italy and will adhere to the directives from the WHO and local authorities.
“The current restrictions are in place until Sunday March 1st and Pro14 will remain in contact with the FIR (Italian Union), Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton and World Rugby to monitor situation on a daily basis.”