The Serie A have confirmed that the clash between Juventus and Inter Milan will be played behind closed doors this Sunday. Serie A matches that were cancelled last weekend, including Juventus against Inter, have been rearranged for March 8 and 9.
Six games in Italy’s top-flight were postponed last weekend due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus in the country. Along with the games featuring Juve, Inter, Milan and Genoa, matches between Parma and SPAL, Udinese and Fiorentina, and Sassuolo and Brescia were also called off.
Monday, March 2 meeting between Sampdoria and Hellas Verona was also cancelled.
The highly anticipated game of this Serie A season will be played behind closed doors. The match was originally supposed to be played on March 1 before Italy’s coronavirus outbreak tipped the country’s top division into a timetabling meltdown.
On 27 February, the league’s governing body, the Serie A, officially confirmed that the game was going ahead as scheduled but behind closed doors after the government banned on mass public gatherings in several northern regions of Italy. Two days later, however, the decision was reversed. The match was postponed as were five other league games all at less than 36 hours’ notice.
This led Inter fans to protest outside the league’s offices, accusing organisers of caving to pressure from Juventus. The president of Serie A’s governing body, Paolo dal Pino, pointed a finger back at their club for resisting an attempt to move the game back by one day, and playing it after the government decree was supposed to lapse. Inter’s president, Steven Zhang, called Dal Pino a “clown”.
Zhang was sceptical stating that considerations of competitive advantage and league prestige were being prioritised over public health. It was only after fresh government intervention, extending the ban on mass gatherings to cover the whole country until 3 April, were all parties able to agree on the best way to proceed.
Champions Juve are second in the table, two points behind Lazio, who have played a game more.
Inter are six points behind Maurizio Sarri’s side, although they have two games in hand on the leaders.