Eerie silence and a player's message: The final games before Serie A shut down - in pictures

Empty stands, then no more matches in Italian top flight until April 3 at the earliest

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced that Serie A, along with all sporting events in the country, will be suspended until April 3 over the coronavirus crisis.

Monday's game between Sassuolo and Brescia went ahead behind closed doors in Reggio Emilia, with the home side winning 3-0 in the final match for a month.

After scoring his opening goal Sassuolo's Italian striker Francesco Caputo held up a handwritten message on piece of paper, urging fans: "Everything will be fine. Stay at home."

A few hours later, the Italian Prime Minister used the same words when unveiling a decree which will came into force on Tuesday.

"There is no reason why matches and sporting events should continue and I am thinking of the football championship," said Conte.

"I'm sorry but all the tifosi (fans) must take note of it," he added.

It meant a round of matches across Italy played in eerie silence before the ban was imposed.

The Italian government has not directly mentioned the cases of the Champions League or Europa League matches planned in Italy in the coming weeks, or other sports.

In the Champions League, Juventus are due to host Lyon in the last 16, second leg on March 17 in Turin.

In the Europa League, Inter Milan welcome Getafe on Thursday while AS Roma will host Sevilla on March 19.

Earlier Monday, Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI), which has authority over all Italian sports federations, had recommended that "all sporting activities at all levels" be suspended until April 3 to help contain the contagion.

Serie A comes to a standstill with Juventus top of the standings, one point ahead of Lazio. Inter Milan are third, nine points behind, with a game in hand.

The questions remains when the Serie A season can be finished with Euro 2020 set to begin on June 12, although there are concerns that the Euros, which are spread across 12 countries might also be cancelled.