March 8, 2020 / 12:31 PM / a month ago

Italy's soccer clubs should consider stopping top division matches - sports minister

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Genoa - San Siro, Milan, Italy - March 8, 2020 General view as a man wears a mask outside the stadium before the match is played behind closed doors to spectators as the number of coronavirus cases grows around the world REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Sport Minister Vincenzo Spadafora asked the national soccer association to consider stopping top division Serie A matches after the country ordered a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Until now Italy’s soccer association FIGC has said Serie A matches could be played without spectators, adding that any events would be stopped should any player test positive for the virus.

In a post on his Facebook account Spadafora said it did not make sense to put players, referees and fans at risk while the authorities were asking citizens to make “huge sacrifices” to stem the contagion.

Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Louise Heavens

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