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Italy v England will either be played behind closed doors at the Stadio Olimpico or cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Italy has been hit dreadfully with the disease. The news comes after the Italian government announced on Wednesday that all sporting events in the country will not be open to the public till April 3rd. This of course is in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid 19.
RTE Sport that the Italian rugby federation and Italian Olympic Committee have already confirmed to PA news agency that the Italy v England will be played at a later date. However, this will likely be confirmed on Thursday when Six Nations organisers will meet both unions (Italian and English) to discuss the fate of the game.
The game will be difficult to reschedule owing to the hectic rugby fixture calendar. However the Italian rugby board will not want to see the game called off altogether. This would be due to potential revenue it would bring in. Furthermore, Ireland are set to meet France also on March 14th. This could potentially called off due to the amount of Covid 19 cases in France. Their game with Italy this weekend due to take place in the Aviva is already postponed.
A statement released by the Italian government said, “There will be no sporting events with the presence of the public in order to prevent further contagion opportunities.” Some big events that will be affected included the Serie A fixtures. Napoli and Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final was postponed on Wednesday. Juventus’ Champions League tie with Lyon set to be played in Turin will also know be played behind closed doors. The coronavirus has seen Italy suffer with 3,000 cases so far. This includes over 100 deaths. At the moment 11 regions in Italy are on lockdown. The government of Ireland are also saying to Irish people not to travel to these regions.