March 2, 2020 / 9:45 AM / a month ago

Serie A virus ban extended in three Italian regions but lifted in Turin

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask is seen outside the Allianz Stadium, after five Serie A matches were postponed because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, in Turin, Italy, February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Serie A is facing another week of confusion after the government extended a ban on supporters at matches in three regions because of the coronavirus but lifted it in Piedmont region, home to title holders Juventus.

The government said that games in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, plus the provinces of Savona and Pesaro-Urbina, would have to be played behind closed doors until March 8.

In a new move, it also banned fans in those regions from travelling to away games in the rest of the country.

The death toll from coronavirus in Italy has risen to 34 while the number of confirmed cases was 1,694. [nL8N2AU0PJ]

Juventus said in a statement that it would stage Wednesday’s Coppa Italia match at home to AC Milan in front of the public.

“The Coppa Italia Juventus-Milan semi-final match will take place regularly at the Allianz Stadium, and will be open to fans, except for those who reside in the Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna regions, along with the provinces of Savona and Pesaro-Urbino,” the club said in a statement.

So far, 10 Serie A matches have been postponed over the past two weeks, with the league preferring to call off games rather than play behind closed doors.

The Corriere dello Sport newspaper said on Monday that five of next weekend’s 10 Serie A matches would have to be called off or played behind closed doors: Atalanta v Lazio, SPAL v Cagliari, Inter Milan v Sassuolo, Verona v Napoli and Bologna v Juventus.

The league will hold an emergency assembly on Wednesday over the situation. Some clubs fear that, if more matches are called off, the season will not finish as there are not enough dates for rescheduled games.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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