Inter Milan clash against Sampdoria one of four Serie A matches called-off due to coronavirus outbreak

Verona versus Cagliari, Atalanta against Sassuolo and Torino's home match with Parma were also postponed

Reporters wearing resppiratory mask interview a resident (L) on February 23, 2020 in the small Italian town of Casalpusterlengo under the shadow of a new coronavirus outbreak, as Italy took drastic containment steps as worldwide fears over the epidemic spiralled.   / AFP / Miguel MEDINA
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Three Serie A games have been postponed due to fears over the spread of coronavirus, including Inter Milan's match with Sampdoria.

After the deaths of two elderly people in the Veneto and Lombardy regions, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said all regional sporting events would be suspended on Sunday.

Inter's clash against struggling Sampdoria, Verona versus Cagliari, Torino's home game with Parma and a match between in-form Atalanta and Sassuolo have all been postponed.

The women's Six Nations rugby union international between Italy and Scotland, due to be played in Legnano in the Lombardy region, was also off.

Antonio Conte's Inter side, who are third in Serie A, are due to host Bulgaria's Ludogorets in the return leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.

Serie B, Serie D and numerous youth games across Veneto and Lombardy were also cancelled.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Sunday that it had set up a task force to analyse the situation.

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with coronavirus.

There has been a growing cluster of cases in Italy with no direct links to the original outbreak in China's Hubei province.

The secondary contagions prompted authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.