Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday (March 9) announced that the country’s top-flight Serie A football league will be suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.
“There is no reason why matches and sporting events should continue and I am thinking of the football championship,” Conte told a press conference in Rome.
Italy’s Olympic Committee (Coni) had recommended earlier Monday that all sporting events in the country be suspended until April 3 to help contain the contagion.
All Serie A football matches were being played behind closed doors.
The contagion only came to light near Italy’s financial capital Milan on Feb. 21.
Since then there have been some 9,172 confirmed cases and 463 deaths, putting the national health system under massive strain.
Conte said all outdoor public gatherings would be forbidden and announced that all sports events, including top flight Serie A soccer matches, would be suspended, throwing the closely watched championship into disarray.