Italy’s Olympic Committee has suspended all sporting events including football as the COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country.
The Olympic Committee, known as CONI, made its announcement just before a football match between Italian teams Sassuolo and Brescia began. But Champions League and Europa League games will continue to take place in Italy as CONI don’t have the right to cancel international games.
The committee, which oversees all sporting events in the country, said in the statement that the suspension will last until April 3 and that it would request a government decree to impose its decision.
The announcement comes after Italy’s sports minister ordered Serie A for games to be played without fans over the weekend.
“The world of football feels immune to rules and sacrifices,” Vincenzo Spadafora said, calling the decision to play on “irresponsible.”
On Sunday, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte issued a decree restricting the movement of 16 million people in the country including the Lombardy region and at least 14 provinces in neighboring regions. Milan, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, and Venice are also affected.
Italy has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases, behind China and South Korea.