Coronavirus Fear Causes Serie A Suspension in Italy

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REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY - MARCH 09: A general view of play in the empty stadium after rules to limit the spread of Covid-19 were put in place for the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Brescia Calcio at Mapei Stadium - Citta del Tricolore on March 9, 2020 in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

All domestic sporting competitions in Italy have been suspended. The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) made an announcement this Monday calling for this action due to health concerns caused by the Coronavirus. This announcement comes after a period of Serie A matches were played behind closed doors.

Coronavirus Fear Causes Serie A to Be Suspended

Domestic Suspension Only – For Now

Of course, this suspension includes all Serie A matches. CONI can only control Italian competitions, so the Champions League and Europa League games will not, or have not yet, be affected.

Currently, Juventus sit atop the table in Italy, just one point ahead of Lazio, but an exciting end to the season will have to wait.

Taking Steps Towards Prevention of the Coronavirus

Italy is the first country to take such a big step towards the prevention of the virus. The only other country really trying to prevent the spread of disease through sport is England. In the Premier League, they have removed fair-play handshakes in order to prevent the spread of the virus between players.

On their official website, they released the following statement: “The Premier League fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice.

“Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.

“Clubs and match officials will still perform the rest of the traditional walk-out protocol ahead of each fixture.

“On entering the field of play, the two teams will continue to line up, accompanied by the Premier League music, then players from the home team will walk past their opposition without shaking their hands.”

While this is a step in the right direction, it is not near to the precautions being taken in Italy.

In a television address, Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “We’re having an important growth in infection… and of deaths.

“We all must give something up for the good of Italy. We have to do it now, and we’ll only be able if we all collaborate and adapt to these more stringent measures.

“This is why I decided to adopt even more strong and severe measures to contain the advance… and protect the health of all citizens.”

The sporting suspension comes into effect along with a national lockdown of Italy.

The Coronavirus in Italy

The Coronavirus is spread through close contact and droplets caused by coughing or sneezing. This makes stadiums the perfect environment to spread the virus.

Italy has the third-highest number of Coronavirus cases – behind only China and South Korea – and they are the hardest-hit country in Europe. The country has over 9,000 confirmed cases and almost 500 deaths. Many towns throughout Italy have been under quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, Vincenzo Spadafora, the Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies, released a statement. In it, he said that he did not think it was a good idea to continue playing through the virus. This led to confusion and the delay of the Parma v SPAL game. It seems that this idea has been considered, and now taken into effect.

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