Italy’s Top Sports body calls for all events to be cancelled until April 3

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Italy’s top sports body on Monday called for all sports events to be cancelled until April 3.

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It asked the government to issue a decree to enforce the measure as the country fights with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

After a meeting between representatives from all Italian team sports federations, the National Olympic Committee (CONI) said in a statement the government should intensify its measures against the virus.

“Health protection is the top priority for everyone,” the statement said.

It added there was a unanimous agreement that sports activity at every level should be suspended until April 3.

However, the statement noted international competitions, for both clubs and national teams, do not fall within CONI’s jurisdiction and so cannot be influenced by its decision.

This include UEFA football tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, in which Italy’s Serie A leaders Juventus are set to host France’s Lyon on March 17.

There was also the Europa League, in which Inter Milan and AS Roma have home games scheduled against Spain’s Getafe and Sevilla on March 12 and 19 respectively.

The government had already ordered that all sports events, including Serie A matches, must be played behind closed doors to avoid crowds of people that could boost the contagion.

The closed-doors games at the weekend caused chaos.

Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora called Serie A organisers “irresponsible” after they ignored a late call from the players’ union for the day’s matches to be suspended.

The chaotic situation saw Parma’s clash with SPAL delayed by 75 minutes.

The previous two rounds of fixtures were heavily disrupted by the spread of the virus as several games were suspended.

Cases of coronavirus in Italy have now risen to 7,375, with 366 deaths, the highest number outside of China.

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