Italy wants Serie A to be postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

The Italian Sports Minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, doesn't want to put the health of players, referees and fans at risk

El coronavirus amenaza al mundo del deporte | SPORT.

Parma's match with SPAL suffered a long delay after the Italian FA (FIGC) was told to suspend Serie A immediately due to the coronavirus outbreak. The players were forced to wait back in the changing rooms for over an hour before it was decided to let the match go ahead.

The Italian Minister for Sport,  Vincenzo Spadafora, has asked for the immediate suspension of the league. This was after the people in Lombardia and 11 other provinces were essentially guaranteed from the 8th March to the 3rd April. In total, that covers 16 million people.

"It doesn't make sense to put the health of the players, referees, coaches and fans at risk by continuing to play football matches," Spadafora said.

The Serie A was told it had to act responsibly and to take into account the events which are impacting large parts of the country.

In a long statement, Spadafora criticised the TV rights holders in the country for this situation (via Football Italia):

“After all, even before the situation became so serious for the country, the Lega Serie A and Sky had already refused to allow thousands of Italians, forced against their will to stay at home, to watch the games free to air on television, hiding behind supposed difficulties that with everyone genuinely trying to, would’ve been overcome.

“During yesterday’s negotiations, also thanks to the collaboration of RAI and Mediaset, we had come close to a solution that would’ve been equal for all those involved and above all a source of great comfort for the many citizens who are passionate about football.

“Instead, the economic interests prevailed and demanded privileged treatment that is simply beyond reality. Football clubs should instead evaluate how to overcome the clauses that are already being examined by Antitrust associations so they can refund ticket holders for the upcoming games behind closed doors."

All matches are currently scheduled to be played today as normal.

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