close
Wednesday April 17, 2024

Six Nations postpone Italy-England match

By AFP
March 06, 2020

BAGSHOT: Italy’s concluding match against England in the Six Nations Championship on March 14 has been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus, officials announced Thursday.

“Six Nations notes the decree issued by the Italian Government on March 4 with respect to all upcoming sporting events in that country,” said a statement.

“The decision has now been taken to postpone the three matches between Italy and England (Men’s, Women’s, and U20) set to take place over the weekend of 13th/14th/15th March, with the intention to reschedule them at later dates. Based on the information that is currently available, all other Six Nations matches are set to go ahead as scheduled.”

Ireland’s match against Italy in Dublin, due to be played on Saturday, had already been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

The Italian government had ordered on Wednesday that all major sporting events be held behind closed doors until April 3 as the country grapples with the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Playing a match without spectators was an option for the Italian Rugby Federation but would have involved them taking a huge financial hit.

For example, it is estimated the Irish Rugby Football Union could lose an estimated 10 million euros (£8.6 million) in revenue if their match against Italy is not played.

And with the window for earning ranking points ahead of the draw for the 2023 World Cup in France closing in November, there is a further incentive beyond purely financial concerns to play any held over matches.