Italy’s Guinness Six Nations match versus England on March 14 will have to be played behind closed doors at Stadio Olimpico in Rome or be postponed to a later date.

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It follows the publication of a new Italian government decree that has ordered all sporting events to take place without fans until April 3 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Six Nations officials had declared on Monday that all remaining matches in the championship were going ahead as planned except for the already postponed meeting of Ireland versus Italy in Dublin which had been fixed for next Saturday in Dublin. 

However, with the threat of the coronavirus spread still not under control, the Azzurri’s round five clash with the English in Rome is now set to be played without a crowd allowed watch at Stadio Olimpico – or be postponed to a later date by tournament officials.

The decree allows for “the suspension of events of any nature… that entails the concentration of people and do not allow for a safe distance of at least one metre (yard) to be respected.”

If the match goes ahead behind closed doors on March 14, it will leave thousands of England fans facing misery after booking flights and hotels in the Italian capital to attend the match.

WATCH: RugbyPass Rugby Explorer takes a trek through Italian rugby, stopping off in Rome and Treviso 

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