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'Public health the priority' for Juve amid doubts over scheduled Inter clash

Andrea Agnelli - cropped
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 24 Feb 2020, 21:08 IST
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Juventus president Andrea Agnelli made clear public health comes first amid the possibility of further fixtures being postponed in Serie A – even if that means his club taking on Inter behind closed doors.

Following the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy, the decision was taken to call off four of the top-flight games scheduled to take place on Sunday, including Inter's clash with Sampdoria.

Italy prime minister Giuseppe Conte has said all of Serie A's week 26 fixtures could yet be postponed, with the country taking preventative measures following the death of two people, as well as dozens more reportedly testing positive for the virus.

Table-topping Juve – who played on Saturday, triumphing 2-1 at SPAL – are due to host third-place Inter on Sunday, though a media report has suggested the game could go ahead but without fans present at the Allianz Stadium.

Agnelli admitted during an appearance on Radio 24 that such a situation would not be ideal, but understands the bigger picture considering the situation.

"At this moment, the priority for the country is the protection of public health," he said.

"Starting from this, there is a dialogue with those who have to decide, but we will accept the decisions that are taken.

"The interruption of the sports system is difficult; the schedule is clogged. Starting the championship late – and not playing in the Christmas break – means that if you miss a game it becomes difficult to recover."

On the prospect of playing Inter without supporters present, or possibly even at an alternative venue, he added: "Organising a match like Juve-Inter in a different stadium is extremely complicated.

"I'm sorry about the show itself because the championship is affected because of a historic game of football. But we must preserve the priority: public health."

Published 24 Feb 2020, 21:08 IST
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