Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has postponed three Serie A fixtures, including Inter v Sampdoria, following a coronavirus outbreak in Milan.
Inter confirmed the decision on Twitter on Saturday night, while the other top flight games affected on Sunday are Atalanta’s match at home to Sassuolo and Cagliari’s trip to Verona.
‘The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,’ read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday.
‘Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.
‘Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.’
Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled. The number of confirmed cases in the country is reportedly at 79, including one amateur footballer, with two deaths so far.
There have already been 42 games in the youth and amateur leagues postponed, while the Serie B clash between Ascoli and Cremonese also fell victim to the outbreak.
A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.
Basketball, volleyball, rugby and other sports have also postponed several matches for a total of at least 40 events across the affected areas.