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Report: Matches in Italy could be played behind closed doors this week

Juventus v Atletico Madrid: Group D - UEFA Champions League

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 26: general view of the stadium before the UEFA Champions League group D match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid at Allianz Stadium on November 26, 2019 in Turin, Italy (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Juventus FC via Getty Images

For at least the next week, we could see matches in Italy played behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus scare.

According to a report in Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Italian sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, has determined that clubs based in regions where there have been positive Coronavirus (officially known as Covid-19) cases will need to play matches without fans for at least the next week.

An NBC News report from Sunday cited Italian government officials stating more than 133 people had tested positive for COVID-19, and that ten cities in Northern Italy were on lockdown.

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The Italian sporting authorities are trying to keep people from congregating together in large numbers, where the virus could potentially spread.

In a sporting context, this reported decision from the Italian government will also create headaches within Juventus FC. The club has a massive match next Saturday against Inter Milan, and would likely prefer to either have it cancelled or moved to a safe location so it could be played with fans in attendance.