England's Six Nations Championship clash against Italy has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. The Six Nations Championship game between England and Italy was supposed to be held in Rome on March 14. However, it will now be scheduled for another day. All sports events in Italy have been affected due to the coronavirus disease which has been spreading like wildfire. A decision by the government has been made to hold all sporting events behind closed doors.
Due to the Coronavirus in Italy (which has already claimed 107 deaths), the Six Nations Championship tournament organizers had the option of hosting Italy vs England behind closed doors or scheduling the match for later. The organizers have decided to go with the second option and the official confirmation of the decision will be made later this week. The reason behind delaying the game is so that the cash-strapped union does not lose out on gate receipts of a 73,000 capacity stadium.
The Six Nations Championship isn't the only sporting event being affected due to the coronavirus outbreak. Serie A matches, as well as Coppa Italia encounters, have been postponed. The football matches are set to take place behind closed doors until April 3 to halt the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
The England vs Italy game is the second match of the Six Nations Championship to be postponed in the rugby tournament. This is after Ireland’s clash with Italy in Dublin on Saturday was called off on public health grounds.
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Official: new COVID decree measures here in Italy. All sports events - also Serie A - can only be done behind closed doors for 30 days. No more fans in the stadiums. The measures will be effective until April 3. 🔴🇮🇹— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 4, 2020
There is no indication as of now whether the remaining four games are under threat of being postponed. England's match against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday is unlikely to be affected. Almost 20,000 English fans were set to make their trip to Italy's capital. However, they will have to cancel their tickets due to coronavirus in Italy. Fans have already begun cancelling their tickets ahead of the official announcement.
The Six Nations Championship now face a challenge to find alternate dates for all games that are being postponed due to coronavirus in Italy. The season’s fixture schedule grants very little room for manoeuvering the matches given the impact of the 2019 World Cup in Japan last year. Due to coronavirus in Italy, the Six Nations Championship council will develop a contingency plan in Paris should any more games be affected.