The Government of Italy has announced an indefinite suspension of the Serie A and other sporting events due to the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) which has affected the country significantly.

About 9172 people across Italy have so far been infected by the virus, leading to 463 deaths.

As part of the efforts to end the outbreak, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended a lockdown on the country, preventing all public gatherings and restricting all movement other than for work and emergency services.

“There is no more time, the numbers tell us there is a significant increase in the contagion, in intensive care and the deaths,” Conte told a press conference on Monday, as reported by Goal.

“Our habits have to change, we must sacrifice something for the good of all of Italy. This is why we will adopt even more stringent measures.”

“I will sign the new decree, which can be summed up with the phrase ‘I am staying at home.’ There are no more red zones, there is just an Italy that is protected.

“We must avoid travel unless for proven work reasons, health reasons or other necessities. We ban large public gatherings.

“We also have more stringent measures in mind for sporting events. Serie A and all sporting tournaments in general are suspended. All the fans must accept that.”

Serie A has had several matches recently behind closed doors, including the Derby D’Italia between Juventus and Inter.