Fans Prohibited From Attending All Italian Sporting Events Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The Italian government announced the ban will be effective for the next month.


Image via Getty/Salvatore Laporta/KONTROLAB/LightRocket


In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian government is banning spectators from all sporting events.

SportsCenter reports officials announced the move on Wednesday, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Italy. Citing the Civil Protection Agency,CNN says the nation has confirmed 3,089 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday—107 of which were fatal.

The measure will reportedly be in effect for at least one month. 

Breaking: All sporting events in Italy will take place without fans present for at least the next month due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Italian government announced on Wednesday.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 4, 2020

The announcement comes just days after Italian major soccer league Serie A postponed five matches that were originally set to take place Saturday in the northern regions of Italy. The area is where the majority of Italy's coronavirus cases have been confirmed.

"The decision was down to me, but the clubs involved were contacted by telephone, so we know everyone’s positions, which were difficult to reconcile," Paolo Dal Pino, president of Lega Serie A, told the New York Times on Sunday. "I invite everyone to think as Serie A, not as individual clubs."

On Monday, it was announced that Serie A would be suspended. 

OFFICIAL: Serie A has been suspended. #SerieA #Coronavirus

Sports organizations around the world have taken similar action, either suspending, canceling, or prohibiting fan attendance at sporting events, where the virus could possible spread among large crowds. South Korea and Japan have halted their soccer league seasons; China has forfeited a Davis Cup tie as the men's tennis team isn't allowed to travel to Romania; and the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, originally set for April 19, has been delayed indefinitely.

The have been reports that the International Olympic Committee was considering delaying the 2020 Summer Games, which are scheduled to take place in Tokyo. However, IOC representative Mark Adams confirmed this week that the games will go on as planned despite coronavirus concerns.

"The Games are going ahead on the 24th of July, and we completely expect to deliver them on that date," Adams said, as reported by TMZ. "All the advice we've been given is that that can go ahead, from the WHO [World Health Organization] and other organisations."

There are reportedly more than 100,000 people who have been infected with coronavirus around the world. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are now at least 400 confirmed coronavirus cases across 35 states. Officials say there have been 19 U.S. deaths.

Latest in Sports