Juve-Inter among 5 Serie A matches postponed due to coronavirus

ROME: Five Serie A matches which had been scheduled to go ahead behind closed doors this weekend, including the key clash between Juventus and Inter Milan, have been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis, Italy’s soccer League said on Saturday.

All five games, which also include AC Milan v Genoa, Parma v Spal, Sassuolo v Brescia and Udinese v Fiorentina, will now be played on May 13, Serie A said in a statement.

The matches had been due to go ahead behind closed doors after the government banned public gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

However, a soccer official, speaking off the record, said broadcasters and fans did not want the matches to be played in empty stadiums and the clubs themselves were concerned about the loss of gate receipts.

Nearly 900 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Italy, and cafes and schools have been closed as daily life has ground to a halt.

Serie A said in a statement that the decision was made “considering the succession of numerous urgent regulatory interventions by the Government to respond to this extraordinary emergency to protect public health and safety.”

Four matches were cancelled last weekend including Inter Milan’s home game against Sampdoria.

Five Serie A matches will go ahead as planned – Lazio-Bologna and Napoli-Torino on Saturday, Lecce-Atalanta and Cagliari-Roma on Sunday and Sampdoria-Verona on Monday.