Serie A matches to be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus

Top of the table clash between Juventus and Internazionale on Sunday could be affected

The top of the table Serie A clash between Juventus and Internazionale could be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus. Photograph: Emilio Andreoli/Getty

The top of the table Serie A clash between Juventus and Internazionale could be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus. Photograph: Emilio Andreoli/Getty

 

Serie A matches are set to be played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus outbreak which has hit the north of the country if proposals from the Italian football federation (FIGC) are approved by the government, the FIGC said on Monday.

Six people have died and more than 220 have come down with the virus, mainly in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, in Europe’s worst outbreak of the illness.

Four Italian top-flight matches were called off on Sunday, including third-placed Inter Milan’s home game with Sampdoria, and there is already a shortage of possible dates for re-scheduled fixtures.

“For our Serie A championship we have planned for and asked to play the games behind closed doors. That could happen as early as Sunday,” FIGC president Gabriele Gravina told a news conference on Monday.

Gravina also expected Inter’s Europa League last 32, return match at home to Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad on Thursday to be played behind closed doors at San Siro. Inter won the first leg 2-0.

Next weekend’s matches include a clash between leaders Juventus and Inter in Sunday’s late game.

Tuesday’s Champions League first-leg match between Napoli and Barcelona at Stadio San Paolo in Naples is taking place several hundred kilometres from the affected region and there has been no suggestion that it could be called off.

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