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Sports >  International sports

Serie A announces Italian games will be played without fans

Inter Milan, left, and Ludogorets line-up inside the empty San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy ahead of their Europa League round of 32 second leg Thursday Feb. 27, 2020. Inter beat Ludogorets 2-1 in an empty stadium as a precaution because of the virus outbreak in Italy. Additional Italian league games this weekend will be played without fans present. (Emilio Andreoli / Associated Press)
Inter Milan, left, and Ludogorets line-up inside the empty San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy ahead of their Europa League round of 32 second leg Thursday Feb. 27, 2020. Inter beat Ludogorets 2-1 in an empty stadium as a precaution because of the virus outbreak in Italy. Additional Italian league games this weekend will be played without fans present. (Emilio Andreoli / Associated Press)
Associated Press

MILAN – The Serie A game between Juventus and Inter Milan will take place in an empty stadium because of the virus outbreak in Italy, the league confirmed Thursday.

Serie A’s governing body released a statement announcing that Sunday’s Derby d’Italia – one of the biggest games of the season – and four others would be played without any fans allowed in.

The other matches are Udinese vs. Fiorentina on Saturday, AC Milan vs. Genoa, Parma vs. Spal, and Sassuolo vs. Brescia on Sunday.

Inter trails Serie A leader Juventus by six points going into the game, although it has played a match less.

Sunday’s match will also see Inter coach Antonio Conte return to Juventus for the first time since he left the club in 2014. Conte led Juventus to the first three of its eight straight league titles and also spent most of his playing career with the Bianconeri.

Italy has reported a total of 650 cases of the new coronavirus, up from 400 on Wednesday evening and three a week ago. Three more people with the virus died in 24 hours, bringing Italy’s toll to 15.

Italy has closed schools, museums and theaters in the two hardest hit regions and troops are enforcing quarantines around 10 towns in Lombardy and the epicenter of the Veneto cluster, Vo’Euganeo.

Inter’s Europa League match against Ludogorets on Thursday was played without any fans allowed in.

Four Serie A matches were postponed last weekend, with two given new dates on Thursday.

Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari and Torino vs. Parma will both be played on March 11.

New dates for Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Inter vs. Sampdoria have yet to be decided.

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