Chaos in Italy as more Serie A matches suspended over coronavirus

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Italian football was thrown further into chaos on Sunday after the government issued a new decree extending the suspension of all sporting events in regions affected by the virus outbreak until 8 March.

The ban will affect Serie A matches for the third successive round of fixtures. The matches concerned next weekend are: Atalanta v Lazio, Bologna v Juventus, Internazionale v Sassuolo, and Hellas Verona v Napoli.

The governing body Lega Serie A announced on Sunday that it has called an emergency assembly for Wednesday to “examine the consequences the governmental measures related to coronavirus have had on the fixture list”.

The move came as Internazionale’s chief executive, Giuseppe Marotta, said the season even ran the risk of being unable to finish. “If more matches are called off then, yes, we run that risk,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport when asked if the championship might not finish.

Marotta said that, because some matches had been postponed and others had not, the “balance of the championship has been altered”, adding: “It’s a distorted tournament. You just need to think of injuries and suspensions. And there is the psychological aspect when you look at the standings.”

The total number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Italy has risen to 1,694, a 50% jump from just 24 hours earlier. Five more people infected with the virus have died, bringing the deaths in Italy to 34.

Four matches from last weekend were postponed and six from this weekend.

There is little time for make-up dates considering all elite football competitions must be completed by 24 May because of the upcoming European Championship.

Juventus, Napoli and Atalanta are involved in the Champions League, while Inter and Roma are in the Europa League.

Credit : www.theguardian.com

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