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Coronavirus: Serie A to play behind closed doors for one month

The Italian government say supporters will not be able to attend any sporting events in the country for the next 30 days

Serie A

Serie A games will be played behind closed doors for the next month after the Italian government ordered all sporting events in the country to be played without spectators until April 3.

It means the league is likely to resume in full this weekend after just four matches took place last weekend with fans present as they were taking place in areas that had not been affected by measures to control the outbreak.

Eight Serie A fixures have been postponed over the past two weeks, including a top-of-the-table clash between Juventus and Inter Milan originally scheduled to take place on Sunday evening.

The Italian FA has ordered both Coppa Italia semi-finals, Juventus vs AC Milan and Napoli vs Inter Milan, to be postponed this week.

Vincenzo Spadafora, Italy sports minister
Image: Vincenzo Spadafora has been Italy's sports minister since September 2019

Representatives from the 20 Serie A clubs met on Wednesday at the Italian Olympic Committee's headquarters at the Foro Italico in Rome to debate on the plan of action for all top-flight games affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

However, only eight clubs - Inter, Juventus, AC Milan, Roma, Sassuolo, Udinese, Lazio, Fiorentina and Atalanta - sent club representatives to the assembly, six clubs short of the minimum number of representatives legally required for the assembly to take place.

Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta was in favour of playing matches behind closed doors as it would preserve the regular course of the season.

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"It's a very tough moment, our goal is to carry out the season with the maximum uniformity, without creating any imbalance," Marotta told Sky in Italy reporters hours before the decision was made.

"We're going through days of big changes. To play behind closed doors could be the only tool to finish the season in light of the restrictions that the government is rightly pointing out to us."

Napoli San Paolo
Image: Inter Milan's Coppa Italia clash against Napoli at the San Paolo has been postponed

There are 2,502 confirmed cases in Italy, with the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto among the most badly-hit areas.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte decided on Wednesday to close all schools and universities until mid-March.

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