Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Serie A games behind closed doors until April 3 amid coronavirus fears

Roma's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, centre, goes for the ball during the Serie A football match against Cagliari, at the Sardegna Arena stadium in Cagliari, Italy, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (Fabio Rossi/LaPresse via AP).

Roma's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, centre, goes for the ball during the Serie A football match against Cagliari, at the Sardegna Arena stadium in Cagliari, Italy, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (Fabio Rossi/LaPresse via AP).

Serie A and all other sporting events in Italy will have to take place behind closed doors until April 3 following a government decree amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement on Wednesday after the coronavirus issue continued to cause havoc with the scheduling of Italian football.

Serie A matches have been called off over the past two weekends, along with the midweek Coppa Italia semi-finals.

A scheduled Lega Serie A emergency assembly on Wednesday failed to go ahead as only nine clubs were represented, with 14 required.

Rather than cancel all events, though, fixtures in regions not heavily affected by the virus can take place without members of the public in attendance for the next 30 days.

The decree stated: "Sports events and competitions of all kinds and disciplines, held in every place, both public and private, are suspended.

"However, in municipalities other than those listed in Annex 1 of the prime minister's decree of March 1, 2020, and subsequent amendments, the holding of the aforementioned events and competitions, as well as training sessions for competitive athletes, is still allowed inside sports facilities used behind closed doors, or outdoors without the presence of the public.

"In all such cases, associations and sports clubs, by means of their medical staff, are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among athletes, technicians, managers and all accompanying persons who participate.

"Basic sports and motor activities in general carried out outdoors or inside gyms, swimming pools and sports centres of all kinds, are allowed only on condition that it is possible to comply with the recommendation set out in Annex 1, letter D.

"The provisions of this decree have their effect from the date of publication in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic and are effective, subject to different provisions contained in the individual measures, until April 3, 2020."

There are 2,502 confirmed cases of the virus in Italy, with 80 deaths.

There have been 3,199 fatalities worldwide.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: