London: The Italian government has announced that all sporting events in the country must be staged behind closed doors until April 3 in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak which has taken 107 lives in the country. Italy is the worst-hit European country with some 3,090 cases.
The decree announced by the government will be affecting England's men's and women's Six Nations matches and all Serie A games.
"There will be no sporting events with the presence of the public in order to prevent further contagion opportunities," read the governments decree as per BBC Sport.
"Sports events and competitions of all kinds and disciplines, held in every place, both public and private, are suspended; however it is permitted to carry out the aforementioned events and competitions behind closed doors, or outdoors without the presence of the public.
"In all such cases, the associations and sports clubs, by means of their medical staff, are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among athletes, technicians, managers and all accompanying persons who participate."
The decree affects all areas of the country, including those places were the virus has not been found.
In Serie A many matches, including Juventus against Inter Milan last weekend, have been postponed rather than being played without fans.
A number of football clubs, including Wolves and West Ham, have also advised players not to pose for selfies and sign autographs to curb the spread of coronovirus which has affected over 50 countries in the entire world. As many as 90,000 confirmed cases have been reported till now and more than 3,000 people have lost their lives.