The clash between Juventus and Inter Milan as well as four other matches in the Italian Championship will take place this weekend behind closed doors due to the coronavirus epidemic in the Peninsula, confirmed the Italian Football League on Thursday.
Besides the match between Juventus, leader, and Inter (3rd), the other meetings concerned are Udinese-Fiorentina, AC Milan-Genoa, Parma-Spal, and Sassuolo-Brescia.
According to the latest report, 650 people tested positive for the new coronavirus in Italy and the disease killed 17 people there.
The League decision is an extension of the agreement given Monday evening by the Italian government to the organization of matches behind closed doors in six regions of northern Italy.
The six regions concerned are Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont, the three most affected by the disease, but also Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, and Emilia-Romagna.
In these six regions, all public sports competitions had previously been banned until Sunday evening as part of the fight against the spread of the virus.
Serie B (2nd division) had already announced on Wednesday that four of its matches would also be played this weekend without spectators.
The match between Juventus and Inter, nicknamed “the Italian Derby”, is one of the strongest moments of the football season each year. He battles the two most successful teams in Italy and two of the clubs with the most supporters in the country.
This year, it also had a particular sporting dimension since the two teams were launched with Lazio Rome (2nd) in a very close match for three to conquer the title.
It should also mark the return to Turin of Antonio Conte, Inter coach, who played for 13 years at Juventus and trained him for three years.
The spread of the new coronavirus in Italy has had important consequences on sports calendars.
Last weekend, four Serie A matches were postponed. On Tuesday, we also learned that the match of the Six Nations Rugby Tournament between Ireland and Italy, scheduled for March 7 in Dublin, was also postponed.
Thursday night, the Europa League match between Inter Milan and the Bulgarian club Ludogorets was also played behind closed doors.