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Breaking Angles: Italian Government Shuts Down Serie A

Juve 6 Leggenda by Leandro Ceruti is licensed under CC BY SA-2.0

Breaking Angles: Italian Government Shuts Down Serie A

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

It’s finally happened. The first major sports league in the world has shut down amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Serie A, the country’s highest level soccer league, would be suspending operations until April 3rd. Prime Minister Conte also announced that all sporting events in the country would be suspended due to the coronavirus.

Italy has been ravaged by the virus, recently quarantining almost 10 million people in the northern region. This week, the Prime Minister extended the quarantine to the entire country.

After that decree was announced, the Serie A decision appears to be a no brainer.

“There is no reason why matches and sporting events should continue and I am thinking of the football championship. I’m sorry but all the tifosi (fans) must take note of it,” Conte stated during his dramatic evening address to the nation.

Serie A is the first massive sporting association to shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. They likely won’t be the last. The Champions League announced that the Borussia Dortmund match against Paris-Saint Germain would still be played, but without any fans.

However, according to ESPN, “Leipzig’s match against Tottenham and Liverpool’s home game against Atletico Madrid are expected to be played with fans.”

Outside of Europe

Here in the US, four major sports rolled out a policy change that would restrict locker room access to essential team personnel only. The MLB, NBA, MLS, and NHL put out a blanket statement announcing the policy shift.

Across the Pacific, the Japanese Baseball League has also been hit hard by the Coronavirus. The Nippon League has pushed back the opening of their season, citing concerns for the fans and players.

With the Olympics in Tokyo being held a mere 4 1/2 months from now, the event’s status is becoming questionable. Even more, what of the qualifying events leading up to them? Will they be taking place? Italy has already canceled an Olympic qualifying meet in Riccione, citing the quarantine.

The Italian Olympic Committee stated that they recommended the suspension of all sporting events last week. However, it only goes so far as the leagues they govern over. With Juventus, Napoli and Atalanta in the Champions League and Inter Milan and Roma in the Europa League, it has yet to be decided on what happens outside of Italy.

But one thing is for certain, Italy’s soccer season has been halted, for the near future.

Wash. Your. Hands.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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