The Coronavirus panic has forced the postponement of Juventus’ Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan. There is also the risk that Barcelona’s Champions League meeting with Napoli later this month may be rearranged.
The postponement of the Juventus game was a directive given by the Turin state government. It comes after a spate of cancellations in Serie A recently as Italy attempt to halt the spread of the disease. The government is even considering suspending all football for 30 days while the threat is contained.
Napoli’s trip to the Camp Nou is also at risk of being postponed. According to Spain’s Health minister Salvador Illa, Valencia’s game against Atalanta next Tuesday and Getafe’s Europa league clash with Inter on March 19 could similarly face cancellation.
“These professional sports competition events, in which a high presence of fans coming from the coronavirus risk areas is expected, the recommendation is that they should be held behind closed doors.”
– Health minister Salvador Illa
While there is currently no talk of postponing games in England and Scotland, governing bodies in both countries have encouraged clubs to take other preventative measures. Scottish footballers, managers and referees have been told not to shake hands during games after a case of the disease was reported in the Tayside region.