A man trains in a deserted street in Rome, Italy, March 25 2020. Picture: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP
A man trains in a deserted street in Rome, Italy, March 25 2020. Picture: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP

Rome — Italy’s sports minister says he will propose extending the ban on all competitions to the whole of April in an effort to contain the coronavirus.

The death toll from the coronavirus rose past 10,000 in Italy on Saturday, a figure that made an extension of a national lockdown almost certain.

“Restarting matches is unrealistic. I will propose to extend the ban on all sports competitions, of all levels and types, to the whole of April,” Vincenzo Spadafora told daily La Repubblica.

Italy’s top-flight Serie A football league has been suspended since March 9 and the Euro 2020 Championship was postponed for a year on March 17.

Spadafora said that the suspension should be extended to all training, which has so far not been banned.

The minister added that he would draw up a plan worth €400m  for sports associations and amateur clubs and called on Serie A to adopt “a serious willingness to change”. He did not elaborate. “After this crisis, nothing can be like before,” he said.

On Saturday Juventus players, leading the league by one point from Lazio with 12 games remaining, agreed on a wage reduction that will save the Turin-based club €90m.

Reuters