Soccer-Serie A stadiums reduced to maximum 5,000 capacity to curb COVID
But Bologna remain in quarantine after the league's appeal to the Emilia court was unsuccessful. The situation has left uncertainty about how many of Sunday's 10 scheduled league games will go ahead.
The 20 clubs in Italy's Serie A have unanimously decided to reduce stadium capacity to a maximum of 5,000 for two rounds of matches in January in a bid to help fight the country's rising COVID-19 cases, the league announced on Saturday. Serie A said in a statement that the new restrictions would be in place over the weekends of Jan. 15 and Jan. 22, before the international break.
The statement added that no tickets would be sold to travelling fans during that period to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. The move marks a further reduction from a current restriction which limits capacity to 50% and which will still be in place for the round of games taking place on Sunday.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi had spoken to soccer federation (FIGC) President Gabriele Gravina https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-italy-soccer-idUSL1N2TN1SG on Friday about the possibility of playing games behind closed doors, or temporarily suspending league activity. Italy reported 197,552 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, up from 108,304 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 184 from 223.
The Italian government reduced the maximum capacity allowed at all open-air sports events from 75% to 50% in December, and the virus has also impacted the league schedule. Four of 10 scheduled games on Thursday did not go ahead due to restrictions imposed by local health authorities (ASLs) after COVID outbreaks in several squads.
Earlier on Saturday, Serie A had successfully appealed to regional administrative courts against quarantine measures imposed by ASLs on Udinese, Salernitana and Torino, freeing their negative-testing players from isolation. But Bologna remain in quarantine after the league's appeal to the Emilia court was unsuccessful.
The situation has left uncertainty about how many of Sunday's 10 scheduled league games will go ahead.
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