Serie A, the top division in Italian football, will play all matches behind closed doors until Friday, April 3, in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, March 4, the Italian government ordered that all sporting events in the country are to be played without spectators in an effort to quell the proliferation of the COVID-19 virus.
At the time of this writing, Italy is essentially the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, as more than 107 people have died and more than 3,000 have been infected.
Speaking in a video posted to Facebook, Premier Giuseppe Conte said that the new government decree was a was of “assuring responsible behavior” and that “banning crowds at sporting events would help prevent further opportunities of infection,” according to The New York Times.
Serie A isn’t the only league being affected, as Atalanta’s Champions League match against Spanish side Valencia will also be played behind closed doors.
As a result of the closed-door decree, the Serie A calender “is expected to be bumped along by a week with an extra midweek in May which allow for all the fixtures to be completed before the close of the season on May 24,” according to reports from clubs within the league.
The Serie A title race is as tight as it’s been in years, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus — who have won the league for eight straight years — currently trail Roman club Lazio by two points at the top of the table.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com