Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played in empty stadiums to combat the spread of coronavirus. The Italian sports minister announced on Monday.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban and sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of Northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors.” Said sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora.
Inter Milan themselves announced their Europa League match with Ludogorets on Thursday would be played with no fans present. Similarly, more matches will take place behind closed doors.
Five Serie A matches, including Juventus’ home match to Inter Milan, will this weekend be played behind closed doors.
Matches at Udinese, AC Milan, Parma and Sassuolo will take place without fans. Games at Lazio, Napoli, Lecce and Cagliari will as normal go ahead without supporters. However, Sampdoria’s match which is scheduled to take place on Monday is yet to be decided upon.
Italy has placed towns in her Northern part into lockdown after 229 people tested positive and seven died.
Eleven towns-10 in Lombardy and one in neighboring Veneto are under lockdown with some 50,000 residents prohibited from leaving.
Other sports were also hit with the Italian Olympic Committee confirming that in line with the government instructions, all events in the Lombardy and Veneto regions would be postponed.
Regional authorities have orders gathering spots such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and discos to close.
High profile events such as Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival have also been disrupted by the virus. Operas have also had to be canceled at Milan’s famed La Scala.
Production of the latest “Mission: Impossible” film starring Tom Cruise has also been halted in Venice as a precaution. Paramount Pictures reported on Monday.