All sporting events in Italy to be played at empty venues

Italian football league games and all other sporting events in the country will have to take place behind closed doors until April 3 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement on Wednesday (March 4). Matches of the Italian league, Serie A, have been called off over the past two weekends. The midweek Coppa Italia semi-finals involving Juventus vs AC Milan and Napoli vs Inter Milan have also been postponed due to the coronavirus scare.

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 the 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.”

In Italy alone there have been 2,502 confirmed cases of the virus, with 80 deaths to date.