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International

Lazio Βeats Genoa 3-2, Four Matches Postponed Due to Virus in Italy

February 23, 2020

Milan — Lazio won 3-2 at relegation-threatened Genoa in one of only two matches to go ahead in Serie A on Sunday following the coronavirus outbreak.

Adam Marusic, Ciro Immobile and Danilo Cataldi scored for Lazio to ensure the capital side remained within a point of Serie A leader Juventus, which won 2-1 at Spal on Saturday.

Lazio also moved five points above third-place Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri’s match against Sampdoria was one of three Serie A soccer matches postponed on orders from the Italian government late Saturday night after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

The government ordered a ban on all sporting events in Lombardy and Veneto — the regions in the heart of the outbreak — and later Turin.

Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari were also called off while Torino’s match at home to Parma was postponed hours before kickoff on Sunday, following new cases in Piedmont.

The only other match to go ahead on Sunday is Roma’s match at home to Lecce.

Numbers of infected persons in the country have soared to at least 133. Almost all of Italy’s cases are clustered in the north, with roughly a dozen towns on lockdown — meaning that people are not allowed to enter or leave the towns’ boundaries.

Juventus, which is also based in Turin — in Piedmont — is set to host Inter next week in the return of former coach Antonio Conte. That match — and others — could now go ahead behind closed doors.

“It is right to take precautionary measures and understand where the problem starts,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. “We must not underestimate what is happening, football is moving in the right direction.

“The answer isn’t playing matches behind closed doors, because the fans are the heart of our sport. It is right to share football with the fans, we need to find an alternative solution for this problem.”

There are also concerns over Inter’s Europa League match against Ludogorets, with the second leg scheduled for Thursday in Milan. The Bulgarian side has written to UEFA.

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