The management of the Italian league has postponed four league matches scheduled to take place on Sunday due to a coronavirus outbreak in Italy. The league called off the match between Atalanta and Sassuolo. The clash between Inter Milan and Sampdoria has also be postponed.
The league chiefs added that the match involving Verona and Cagliari will not take place as planned, along with the Women’s Serie A game between AC Milan and Fiorentina. The league also called off the game between Torino and Parma less than four hours before the scheduled kick-off. Also, the Women’s Six Nations match between Italy and Scotland in Milan on Sunday has been postponed.
However, the Italian FA noted that the match between Genoa and Lazio will take place while the clash between Roma and Lecce will also go on as planned. Meanwhile, the FA did not state when the four postponed matches will be played.
The postponement means that Juventus lead the table with four points after their win on Saturday and denies Inter the opportunity to close the gap.
FutballNews reports that the Serie A called off the games after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Minister of Health Roberto Speranza decided to suspend sport in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto over the outbreak of the deadly disease.
According to a statement by the Italian government, two people in the regions have died from coronavirus. The statement added that more than 60 other people between the two regions have tested positive. It noted that about a dozen towns in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto have been effectively quarantined under the plan.
The Italian government has introduced “extraordinary measures” to tackle the spread of the biggest outbreak of the new coronavirus in Europe. Prime Minister Conte announced the emergency plan late as the number of cases rose to more than 100. The measures were imposed after two Italian citizens were confirmed to have died from the virus.
The Prime Minister said that about 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home by authorities. Conte said it would now be forbidden to enter or leave the outbreak areas unless special permission was granted. All school and sports activities have been suspended in those areas, including several Serie A football matches due to take place on Sunday.
Police, and if necessary the armed forces, will have the authority to ensure the regulations are enforced. Italian authorities fear the virus has gone beyond the isolated clusters of cases in Lombardy and Veneto, making it difficult to contain.
“The contagiousness of this virus is very strong and pretty virulent,” Lombardy’s health chief Giulio Gallera said.
The new coronavirus originated in the Chinese province of Hubei last year, but has spread to 26 countries, where more than 1,400 cases and 11 deaths have been confirmed.