The original plan that Serie A took to combat the recent concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak in Italy was to play half of this weekend’s matches behind closed doors without a single person in the stadium outside of players and club employees.
That was Thursday.
Come Saturday, the league has now taken things a step further.
The league has communicated to both the Italian press and the public at large that Juventus’ almost-top-of-the-table showdown with Inter has been called off and subsequently postponed until May 13. Juve-Inter is one of games that was meant to be played without any spectators in the stands due to the recent coronavirus outbreak in Italy over the past week where hundreds have become infected in Northern Italy.
The schedule changes first impacted Juventus’ women’s team and the second leg of their Coppa Italia quarterfinal against Empoli. Now, it’s the Juve men who have seen a game postponed — and just so happens to be a Derby d’Italia that is about as important as matchup between the two rivals as we’ve seen in a good amount of years.
With when it will be played now might make that game even more important now.
OFFICIAL | #JuveInter has been postponed until Wednesday 13th May 2020, in compliance with the "Urgent measures for the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency of COVID-19".— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 29, 2020
Here is the communication from Lega @SerieA ➡️ https://t.co/NMo158nDGs pic.twitter.com/H3TAe6SXqu
The four other games that were originally scheduled to be played behind closed doors that are now postponed are:
So now that Juventus’ second Derby d’Italia of the season has been postponed until May 13, Juve’s final month of the season will look like this:
- May 3: Juventus at Udinese
- May 10: Juventus vs. Sampdoria
- May 13: Juventus vs. Inter Milan
- May 17: Juventus at Cagliari
- May 24: Juventus vs. Roma
There is, of course, the chance that there will be a Coppa Italia final mixed in there as well seeing as the new date for the cup final is May 20. We only get to worry about a busy-as-hell final month of the season if Juventus is able to not lose against Milan in the second leg of their semifinal matchup on Thursday night. But, seeing as Serie A went from playing behind closed doors to completely calling the games off within about 36 hours, it might not be a certainty that Wednesday’s game is a lock to happen.
Remember, this is a very fluid situation and one that seems to change at least a few times a day as more and more cases are discovered throughout the entire country.
But, for now, we know that Juventus’ next scheduled game is on Thursday, not Sunday night. Juventus’ next opponent will be AC Milan, not Inter Milan. What’s at stake will be a berth in the Coppa Italia final, not possibly putting a final kick to Inter’s Scudetto hopes. Well, maybe that still happens, but it will be in May, not the first day of March.