Coronavirus could see more Serie A games played behind closed doors

The FC guys discuss Lazio’s chances of winning the Scudetto as they trail Juventus by just one point.

The Italian government is moving toward playing football matches behind closed doors in affected areas as authorities try to contain the spread of coronavirus that has made northern Italy the focal point of the outbreak in Europe.

Serie A president Paolo Dal Pinto sent a letter to the government on Monday asking that games no longer be postponed in the affected areas but played without fans in attendance — noting there is little time for rearranged dates considering all elite soccer competitions must be completed by May 24 because of the upcoming European Championship.

Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora also proposed the closed-door plan to Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte — although a final decision is yet to be made.

Four Serie A games scheduled for the previous round on Sunday were postponed, including Inter’s game against Sampdoria in Milan.

There are also concerns over Inter’s Europa League match against Ludogorets, with the second leg scheduled for Thursday in Milan. The Bulgarian side has written to UEFA to request more information about the situation.

Turin-based Juventus are scheduled to host Inter (Live on ESPN+, Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET). Other games scheduled for northern Italy next weekend include Udinese vs. Fiorentina on Saturday and AC Milan vs. Genoa on Sunday.

Lyon have been in contact with UEFA and French authorities over concern about the 2,500-3,000 Juventus fans travelling over the border to a Champions League game in the French city on Wednesday.

Juventus shares fell 11% on the Milan stock exchange early on Monday, forcing a suspension in trading. Juventus also announced its museum at the Allianz Stadium would remain closed through Saturday and stadium tours have been suspended.

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