Inter Milan to play Juventus behind closed doors to stop coronavirus spread

This weekend’s upcoming Serie A matches will go ahead but six games will be carried out behind closed doors, including the massive title clash between Juventus and Inter Milan on Sunday.

Four games were postponed on Sunday after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a shutdown of all sporting events in the north of the country amid fears of the spread of coronavirus.

The suspension order initially only applied to the Veneto and Lombardy regions, but it was extended to four more areas.

There were fears that it could wreak havoc with the Serie A fixture schedule, but Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora says games in areas affected by coronavirus will go ahead but fans will not be allowed to attend.

‘Measures are already in force that prohibit any events until next Sunday,’ Spadafora told Tg2. ‘Initially for Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont. Now we have also extended to Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna and Liguria.

‘In these regions, the prohibition of sporting events remains, for some events we have given the availability to carry them out behind closed doors.’

That means six matches will be played behind closer doors, with four being open to spectators as per usual as the measure ‘has not been extended to the rest of Italy because the conditions for taking serious measures do not exist.’

It will create a strange dynamic for Sunday’s title clash between Juve and Inter in Turin, with an empty stadium set to host the battle between the first and third ranked teams in the division.

The six Serie A games being played behind closed doors

Udinese vs Fiorentina (Saturday)
Milan vs Genoa (Sunday)
Parma vs SPAL (Sunday)
Sassuolo vs Brescia (Sunday)
Juventus vs Inter (Sunday)
Sampdoria vs Hellas Verona (Monday)

Inter, whose match against Fiorentina was postponed on Sunday, will also play their Europa League last-32 second-leg tie against Ludogorets behind closed doors on Thursday evening, with UEFA confirming that the game will go ahead.

Japan’s J-League have had to take even more extreme measures than Serie A, with all matches postponed until March 15 due to coronavirus.

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