Italy Take Drastic Measures Ahead Of Six Nations Clash With England
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The Italian government have announced that all sporting events that take place in the country will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd due to the coronavirus outbreak, including their Six Nations fixture with England.
Italy is the worst-hit European country with some 3,090 cases and 107 deaths confirmed so far. England men’s and women’s sides play Italy in the Six Nations on 14 and 15 March.
The issue will be discussed at a meeting on Thursday by Six Nations officials and the individual countries – and the matches in Italy could be postponed rather than being played behind closed doors.
Italy’s clash with Ireland in Dublin has already been put on hold with the entire tournament at risk as the virus continues to spread across Europe with four new cases reported in the west of Ireland last night.
The decree, announced by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, affects all areas of the country, including places where the virus has not been found.
A government statement read:
“There will be no sporting events with the presence of the public in order to prevent further contagion opportunities.
“Sports events and competitions of all kinds and disciplines, held in every place, both public and private, are suspended; however it is permitted to carry out the aforementioned events and competitions behind closed doors, or outdoors without the presence of the public.
“In all such cases, the associations and sports clubs, by means of their medical staff, are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among athletes, technicians, managers and all accompanying persons who participate.”