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Derby D’Italia To Be Held Behind Closed Doors

Serie A chiefs will allow Juventus’ title clash with Inter Milan to be one of six Serie A matches to be played behind closed doors this weekend as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in Italy.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte postponed four Serie A fixtures at the weekend after the killer bug surfaced in different areas of the country.

According to ANSA, the Italian FA’s request to have games played in empty stadiums has been accepted by the government which will help reduced fixture congestion while minimizing the threat of it spreading.

Minister of Sports Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed that the matches of Serie A Week 26 played in the areas affected by the coronavirus will be held behind closed doors.

“Measures are already in force, that prohibit any events until next Sunday,” Spadafora told Tg2. “Initially for Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont. Now we have also extended to Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna and Liguria.

“In these regions, the prohibition of sporting events remains, for some events we have given the availability to carry them out behind closed doors.”

The Minister of Sports revealed that the rest will go as planned as the measure “has not been extended to the rest of Italy because the conditions for taking serious measures do not exist.”

Inter confirmed on Monday that its Europa League match against Ludogorets will also be played behind closed doors.

Seven people have died from the virus in Italy so far with civil protection officials claiming that at least 229 people have tested positive for the virus in Italy.

State television on Monday night reported the seventh death of an infected person – that of a 62-year-old man who already had serious health problems. The other six victims, also with pre-existing medical conditions, were elderly.

The majority of those known to be infected with COVID-19 hail from two main clusters – some 10 towns in Lombardy and another area in the neighboring region of Veneto. Italy has the highest number of cases outside Asia.

The games in Serie A Week 26 to be played behind closed doors:

  • Udinese-Fiorentina (Saturday)
  • Milan-Genoa (Sunday)
  • Parma-SPAL (Sunday)
  • Sassuolo-Brescia (Sunday)
  • Juventus-Inter (Sunday)
  • Sampdoria-Hellas Verona (Monday)

Juventus have infuriated fans by saying that they have no plans to reimburse fans who bought tickets for this weekend’s Derby D’Italia.

The reigning Italian champions’ decision is certainly a controversial one especially when other clubs whose games have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy have opened up to refunding fans.

Inter are to refund the 30,000 or so people who purchased tickets for the Europa League round of 32 match at home to Ludogorets on Thursday.

AC Milan are to reimburse their fans for their upcoming match against Genoa which will be behind closed doors whilst Parma and Sassuolo are also to reimburse fans for their respective matches this weekend although the report states that Sassuolo are set to only reimburse season ticket holders.