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Italian Serie B match postponed as preventative measure against spread of coronavirus

Many football matches have been postponed due to the spread of the illness in Italy, including Ascoli v Cremonese

The Serie B match between Ascoli and Cremonese has been postponed as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus after two people died in the Lombardy and Veneto regions.

The coronavirus – officially named Covid-19 – first emerged in China towards the end of last year but has spread to a number of other countries since, including Italy.

It was confirmed on Saturday that two Italian people who had been infected have died – a 78-year-old man from Padua, Veneto, as well as a woman in Lombardy.

According to Italian news agency ANSA, 88 amateur football matches scheduled to take place in Lombardy on Saturday had been postponed, while Serie C and Serie D games were also impacted.

Ascoli’s home match with Cremonese – who are from Cremona, Lombardy – in the eastern Marche region is the most high-profile match to be called off, following a decision from the Operational Safety Group (GOS).

This comes after the Cremonese youth team’s match with Brescia in Primavera 2 did not go ahead due to the “health emergency” in Cremona.

A Lega Serie B statement, confirming the postponement of the youth fixture, read: “Due to the health emergency following contagions for coronavirus which is involving Cremonese, which has also led to the closure of all schools in the city by order of the mayor, and in agreement with the two clubs, Lega B postpones the Primavera 2 match between Cremonese and Brescia scheduled for the Arvedi sports center today, Saturday 22 February, at 2.30 pm.”

Italy is not the only footballing nation to have seen coronavirus become a major issue in 2020. 

In China, of course, the epicentre of infections, domestic matches have been uniformly postponed, with the Super League scheduled to kick off this weekend but now facing indefinite delay; while the country’s Asian Champions League participants will have to play their away matches first. 

New Manchester United signing Odion Ighalo, who joined from Shanghai Shenhua, also found himself caught up in restrictions, and stayed home while the rest of the squad travelled to Spain for a training camp in February. 

Latest estimates have the number of infected worldwide at almost 80,000, while there have been more than 2,000 confirmed deaths from the virus.

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