Italian PM Suggests All Serie A Games May Be Postponed Due to Coronavirus Fears

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2020

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives for a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 20, 2020, held to discuss the next long-term budget of the European Union (EU). (Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP) (Photo by ARIS OIKONOMOU/AFP via Getty Images)
ARIS OIKONOMOU/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has suggested all Serie A matches could be postponed in Week 26 following an outbreak of coronavirus in the northern regions.

Four games in northern Italy were postponed on Sunday in relation to fears over the respiratory infection, and Football Italia reported there have been more than 150 people diagnosed. 

Conte told RAI (h/t Football Italia): "I don't think that in just one week we'd be able to slow down the contagion so much that we could resume sporting events. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will evaluate. We'll see the evolution of the contagion and evaluate postponing all next week's matches."

The Telegraph reported on Monday that a fifth person in Italy had died from Covid-19, the specific type of coronavirus that reportedly originated in China.

Inter Milan's meeting with Sampdoria at the San Siro was among the matches to be postponed during the Week 25 lineup on Sunday. Atalanta's home meeting with Sassuolo was also called off, as was Torino's meeting with Parma and Cagliari's trip to Verona.

ESPN FC's Moises Llorens reported Barcelona's players will be checked for fever upon arrival in Naples this week when they travel for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first leg away to Napoli.

It's mentioned any players showing signs of illness will be taken directly to hospital, with Europe's premier club tournament seemingly also at risk of being disrupted.

Football isn't the only sport at risk of being interrupted, either, after Cycling Weekly reported the one-off Milan-San Remo race was one of several cycling events that could be affected:

Juventus and Inter were due to meet in Turin on Sunday in a fixture that's expected to have huge sway on this season's race for the Scudetto, though that clash could now be pushed back to a later date.

France 24 provided an update on the situation in Italy, while the Telegraph report said as many as 50,000 people across 11 towns "are effectively in quarantine":

Juventus beat SPAL 2-1 away from home to retain their one-point lead at the Serie A summit on Saturday, while Lazio's 3-2 win at Genoa saw them move up to second following Inter's postponement.

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