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England football chiefs hold crisis talks over coronavirus with Italy game at Wembley under threat as thousands of away fans plan to travel while infection toll at home nears 400 with 12 dead

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 26/02/2020 Joe Strange for MailOnline and Simon Peach, Press Association
(Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The FA will today hold urgent talks over the impact of the coronavirus on England's Wembley friendly with Italy next month. 

Senior staff will sit down at the national stadium to talk through the problems associated with the fixture after the outbreak increased in northern Italy.

More than 370 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Italy, with nearly a dozen towns put into quarantine. Twelve people are known to have died.

a train crossing a bridge over water: The FA will hold talks at Wembley over the coronavirus ahead of England's friendly with Italy © Provided by Daily Mail The FA will hold talks at Wembley over the coronavirus ahead of England's friendly with Italy

Events across the sporting landscape have been effected by the outbreak, with Italian authorities putting restrictions in place in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.

Thousands of fans were scheduled to travel to London for the Euro 2020 warm-up on March 27, but there are now fears that the game could be under threat.  

Inter Milan's Europa League match at home to Ludogorets will be played behind closed doors on Thursday, on the back of four Serie A matches being postponed last weekend.

The FA is meeting to discuss England's game with Italy as well as other matters related to coronavirus.

Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and their England team-mates are due to face Italy in March © Provided by Daily Mail Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling and their England team-mates are due to face Italy in March

England's partially-sighted team are due to to play in Italy next month, while there was also talk of Italy's Under-18s coming over to the the UK.

Euro 2020 is almost certainly going to be another topic of discussion, but the main focus is on March as the tournament is then the jurisdiction of UEFA and the relevant authorities.

Rome, which has not been affected so far, is due to hold three group stage matches and one quarter-final at the Euro 2020 tournament in June and July. 

a group of people walking in front of Milan Cathedral: The coronavirus outbreak has escalated in Italy over the last week, with 12 people now dead © Provided by Daily Mail The coronavirus outbreak has escalated in Italy over the last week, with 12 people now dead

'We are at the waiting stage. We are monitoring country by country, and football must follow the orders of the individual countries,' Italian Michele Uva, a member of the UEFA executive committee, told state broadcaster Rai.

'The sporting path will only be closed if the situation gets worse.'

So far, the FA has said it will continue to take government advice, with no special measures currently planned for next month's match against Italy.

a man riding a skateboard up the side of San Siro: Inter Milan will play their European tie against Ludogorets behind closed doors at the San Siro © Provided by Daily Mail Inter Milan will play their European tie against Ludogorets behind closed doors at the San Siro

UEFA confirmed that Inter's match with Ludogorets at the San Siro was the only Europa League game to be affected by coronavirus.

The governing body said in a statement: 'All other UEFA matches scheduled this week will go ahead as planned and at this time there are no restrictions for attending supporters.

'UEFA will continue to closely monitor the situation regarding Covid-19 and to liaise with relevant authorities in this respect.'

Related: Transfer Rumours [Read Sport]


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