Italian soccer faces further disruption amid spike in coronavirus cases


Four top-flight fixtures were called off over the weekend as strict emergency measures were implemented across northern Italy, after a spike in confirmed cases in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Torino’s game at home to Parma, Verona’s tie with Cagliari and Atalanta’s match against Sassuolo were amongst the Serie A games to be postponed as Italy grapples to contain Europe’s largest outbreak of the virus.

Restrictions in the most affected regions included the closure of public buildings, limited transport and a ban on public events in 10 municipalities.

219 cases have been confirmed in Italy so far, with five deaths.

It is not yet clear when the Serie A games will be rescheduled or whether this weekend’s fixture list will be disrupted.

Serie A says it will make decisions on a day-to-day basis and will regularly consult with the government task force.

Inter Milan's Europa League match on Thursday could be a jeopardy.

Further disruption

Inter Milan’s clash with Sampdoria was the other match affected and question marks still remain over its Europa League fixture against Ludogorets Thursday.

The Bulgarian side, which trails the tie 2-0 from the first-leg, says more than 600 fans are due to travel to Milan to watch its side play, the majority of which have already booked their travel.

It urged UEFA to brief them on the situation and promised to “notify all the fans immediately after receiving any information.”

CNN has reached out to European soccer’s governing body for a statement on the game but is yet to receive a response.

An ambulance leaves the municipal hospital in Codogno, southeast of Milan, on February 22, 2020.

A number of matches in Italy’s lower soccer leagues were also postponed, along with the women’s Six Nations Rugby game between Italy and Scotland.

The virus has already disrupted a number of sporting competitions, particularly across Asia.

The Chinese Grand Prix — originally scheduled for April 19 — has already been postponed along with the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments, which have been moved from April to October.

However, Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers said the Games remain “on track” to take place as planned despite the virus outbreak.



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