The biggest domestic match of the Serie A season will be a much, much quieter atmosphere than originally anticipated. And it is because of something completely out of either club’s control.
Due to coronavirus concerns in the Piedmont region, Juventus’ massively-important match against Inter Milan this Sunday night will be played behind closed doors, Minister of Sports Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed following a meeting of the Council of Ministers. It will be one of six Serie A matches played without any kind of crowd whatsoever, as the coronavirus outbreak that first started in Northern Italy late last week has now become an issue in the southern part of the country, with parts of Firenze and Palermo now under watch.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus will not issue refunds for the tickets, per club policy. The traveling fans from Milan, however, will see their tickets refunded by Inter.
On Monday, Juventus’ youth sector announced that it will not play its scheduled games this upcoming weekend. There has been no word from the club regarding Juventus Women’s Coppa Italia fixture against Empoli that is scheduled for Wednesday in Turin. The Juve women don’t play another game until March 21 following the first international break of the calendar year.
Here is what Spadafora had to say regarding the decision to play the games behind closed doors:
“Measures are already in force, that prohibit any events until next Sunday. Initially for Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont. Now we have also extended to Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna and Liguria.
“In these regions, the prohibition of sporting events remains, for some events we have given the availability to carry them out behind closed doors.”
(Source: Football Italia)
Sunday night’s game will be the second consecutive fixture that Inter will have played behind closed doors, as their Europa League Round of 32 tie against Ludogorets at the San Siro was also ruled to go forward without a crowd.