The Serie A encounter between two Italian giants, Juventus and Inter Milan, which is potentially a title-defining clash, has been decided to be played behind closed doors on Sunday at the Allianz Stadium. The decision was taken due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Italy.
Italy continues to be Europe's worst-hit country in terms of coronavirus cases, with 17 deaths already recorded, along with the reports of another 650 infections. The outbreak is reportedly concentrated in a small cluster of towns in the Veneto and Lombardy regions.
On Monday, the Italian government banned all sporting events that are due to take place in six regions of the country. This includes Juventus' home city of Turin, as well as the area of Piedmont.
On Tuesday, Serie A authorities said that the other matches that are to be played in empty stadiums would be between Udinese and Fiorentina, AC Milan and Genoa, Parma and Spal, and Sassuolo and Brescia.
The Italian football regulating body also laid down certain guidelines regarding who shall be allowed to enter the stadiums.
Only the media working on behalf of the broadcasting rights holders are allowed to attend the games, and no news conferences would be organised before and after the matches.
Along with the media personalities, a maximum of 100 people that are directly connected with the match organisers would be given access to the stadium. According to the Daily Mail, the other guests who would be allowed are the anti-doping staff, match delegates, security officials and stewards.
Juventus is currently leading the Serie A table with 60 points in 25 matches. The Turin side has won 19 games, lost three and drawn three. Lazio is second in the table, with just one point short of the leaders. Inter Milan is third, with 54 points.
All three teams have a fair opportunity to lift the league title. Juve will aim to expand its lead on the top by beating Inter.
On the other hand, the Milan side would look forward to narrowing their gap to three points. As a result, the upcoming game on Sunday would be a high-voltage affair. But with the game set to play in front of empty stands, it is to be seen how Cristiano Ronaldo and his colleagues get inspired.