Italy and Spain are adopting drastic measures regarding soccer matches because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. The Coppa Italia semi-final second leg match between Juventus and AC Milan in Turin on Wednesday has been postponed indefinitely because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, the ANSA news agency and other Italian media said on Tuesday.
Sports events have been banned in three regions of Italy — Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna — plus two provinces although top flight soccer matches can go ahead behind closed doors, an option which the Serie A league has preferred not to use.
The Piedmont region where Turin is located was exempted from the ban on Sunday and Juventus immediately said the game would go ahead with spectators. However, ANSA said on Tuesday that the city council had decided to call the match off.
The decision came as the Civil Protection Agency said that 27 people had died of the highly contagious illness in Italy over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of dead to 79, while the number of cases rose to 2,502.
Napoli are due to host Inter Milan in the other match on Thursday.
Likewise in Madrid, Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa on Tuesday recommended that sporting events in the country with a high expected attendance from zones designated as high-risk for coronavirus, such as northern Italy, should be held behind closed doors.
Such events include the return leg of the Champions League fixture between Valencia and Italy’s Atalanta scheduled for March 10 and a Europa League match between Getafe and Inter Milan on March 19