Five Serie A games off as virus brings chaos to sport

Source:AFP Published: 2020/3/1 18:48:40

Five matches in Italy's Serie A, including the heavyweight duel between champions Juventus and Inter Milan, were postponed on Saturday due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Sunday's clash pitting Juventus and third-placed Inter in Turin was among those fixtures to be called off and rearranged for May 13. It had originally been scheduled to be played behind closed doors. 

The decisions also mean the Italian Cup final, initially set for May 13, has been pushed back to the following week on Wednesday, May 20.

Juve also announced they are temporarily suspending the activities of their under-23 squad after the team had played a third division fixture against Pianese who have several players affected by coronavirus. 

"The reason for this decision is the appearance of new cases of COVID-19 in recent hours among players of US Pianese that the Bianconeri faced on February 23," the club said in a statement. 

Juventus said that "six days after the match, the Bianconeri players showed no symptoms but remain under medical supervision". 

However, the team will not practice until further notice. Four Pianese players have now tested positive for coronavirus.

The decision to postpone the five Serie A games had been taken in response to the "exceptional circumstances concerning protection of public health and security," the Italian league said.

Italian sport has been hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus. A Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Ireland in Dublin on March 7 has been called off, and the alpine skiing World Cup Finals - due to take place in Italy next month - will be held without any fans on the slopes.

Posted in: SOCCER

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