BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 10°C Thursday 22 October 2020
Advertisement

Serie A and Europa League games to be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus

The Italian sports minister announced the move on Monday evening.

Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora.
Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora.
Image: Giuseppe Fama

UPCOMING MATCHES in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.

“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on 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 after a meeting of the Council of Ministers. 

Inter Milan themselves announced their Europa League match with Ludogorets on Thursday would be played with no fans present.

“In agreement with UEFA, the Lombardy regional health authorities and Milan city council, our return game with Ludogorets will be played behind closed doors,” an Inter statement said.

The sports minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban. 

There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.

Italy reported its seventh death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.

Eleven towns — 10 in Lombardy and one in neighbouring Veneto — are under lockdown, with some 50,000 residents prohibited from leaving.

Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.

The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.” 

Other sports were also hit with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) confirming that in line with government instructions, all events in the Lombardy and Veneto regions would be postponed.

Regional authorities have ordered gathering spots, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and discos to close.

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel