Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is staying in Madeira to avoid the coronavirus following the suspension of Serie A.
Italy has been the European country most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has infected 12,462 people and claimed the lives of 827 as of Wednesday evening.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Serie A is suspended indefinitely amid Italy’s lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, which had already forced the postponement of several matches in the Italian top-flight in recent weeks.
Public gatherings have been banned in Italy and the government has moved to restrict all movement other than for work and emergency services.
However, Maurizio Sarri ordered his players to continue training at the club’s facilities in Turin on Wednesday, but talisman Ronaldo stayed away to avoid any risk of infection.
Juventus confirmed on their website that the 35-year-old is back on the island of Madeira, where he was born, “pending developments related to the current health emergency”.
The coronavirus, which has killed almost 4,400 people across the planet since the outbreak began last December, has disrupted football schedules across the world.
While the domestic calendar has been paused in Italy, Inter and Roma saw their Europa League clashes against Getafe and Sevilla, respectively, postponed as a result of travel restrictions.
The Premier League was affected for the first time on Wednesday when the match between Manchester City and Arsenal was called off after some Gunners players were placed in self-isolation.
In Spain, the next two rounds of fixtures in La Liga will be played behind closed doors and in France, fans will be banned from stadiums until April 15.
That approach has been applied to Champions League and Europa League matches, as well. On Wednesday, the last-16 second leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund was played in an empty stadium, which will also be the case next week when Barcelona host Napoli and Bayern Munich take on Chelsea in Germany.
Fans will also be absent during Manchester United’s game against LASK in Austria, Olympiacos vs Wolves, Wolfsburg vs Shakhtar Donestk and Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers in the Europa League.