Sassuolo forward Francesco Caputo celebrated a goal in their 3-0 home win over Brescia on Monday by trying to reassure fans over the coronavirus outbreak in what is the last Serie A match until April.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday announced that all sporting events, including the top-flight Serie A football championship, will be suspended until April 3 because of the coronavirus crisis.
“There is no reason why matches and sporting events should continue and I am thinking of the football championship,” Conte told a press conference in Rome.
The Sassuolo-Brescia match was played shortly after Italy’s National Olympic Committee (CONI) called for a halt to all sporting activity in the country – apart from events in international competition – until April 3 in a bid to combat the virus.
Caputo scored from close range in the 45th minute of the match, held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus, then went to the camera and held up a piece of paper with the message “Everything will be alright, stay at home”.
So as the league goes into hibernation mode, with 26 rounds of games played, Juventus lead the table with 63 points, one ahead of Lazio.
Inter are third with 54 and a game in hand after their 2-0 defeat at Juve on Sunday.
Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus that has surged around the globe in recent months. The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases.
Flu is caused by a different virus. There is no vaccine for coronavirus, though researchers are working on one and hope to begin testing soon. Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disease, are most at risk.
The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transferred from surfaces. The best way to prevent infection is by frequent hand-washing, cleaning surfaces with regular household sprays and wipes, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.