Two people have died from the virus in northern Italy in the last two days and the country’s government have introduced “extraordinary measures”, including the lockdown of some towns and villages, to try to contain the outbreak, which is the worst recorded in Europe so far.
The decision to call off matches between Inter Milan and Sampdoria, Verona and Cagliari and Atalanta and Sassuolo was made on Saturday, with Torino vs Parma following suit on Sunday morning. No decision has yet been made as to when the games will be played.
All sporting fixture due to take place in the Lombardy Veneto regions have been cancelled, with the Women’s Six Nations clash between Italy and Scotland set for Sunday also postponed.
Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix and the World Athletics Indoor Championships, due to take place in China in March, are among the most high-profile events to have been called off, along with several events on golf’s PGA and European tours.
The IOC has insisted that the Tokyo Olympic Games set to take place this summer will go ahead as planned.