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Sporting shutdown: ALL sport in Italy to be suspended until April 3 due to coronavirus

Sporting shutdown: ALL sport in Italy to be suspended until April 3 due to coronavirus
Italy's Olympic committee has announced that all sport at all levels throughout the country will be suspended until April 3 at the earliest as the country takes tougher measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban means all matches in Serie A throughout the month of March will be postponed, superseding the previous plan for all games to go ahead behind closed doors.

However, Italian clubs and teams participating in international competitions overseas will still be allowed to travel and represent their nation.

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A statement from the country's Olympic committee (CONI) explained that after a meeting between multiple stakeholders, it had come to the conclusion that suspending all sport was in the best interests of the country.

"A meeting was held today at the Foro Italico, organized by CONI president Giovanni Malagò (pictured above), and attended by representatives of the Team Sports Federations, together with Secretary General Carlo Mornati," said a press release from the Olympic committee (via translation).

"After listening to the opinions of all those present (some in attendance, others via Skype), President Malago publicly thanked the Federal Presidents and the Federations for the great cohesion and the appreciated unity of purpose expressed on such a delicate occasion for the country and in particular for the world of sport that has no precedent in history."

The move now needs government approval from the nation's prime minister to be formally ratified.

The nation is one of the worst-hit nations in Europe by the coronavirus, with more than 7,000 confirmed cases of the illness, and a death toll of more than 300.

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