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Atalanta fans told to watch Champions League clash at home on TV

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Rome (AFP)

Bergamo mayor Giorgio Gori on Tuesday urged Atalanta fans to stay at home to watch their team's Champions League match in Valencia.

"Tonight, do not organise an evening with your friends, do not get together to watch the match. Let's watch everyone at home," Gori told local media.

Italians were adapting Tuesday to the government's new motto: "I'm staying at home", as the country battles to contain Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak.

All sporting events have been cancelled until April 3 and movement of Italy's 60 million people severely limited.

Bergamo and Lombardy in the north of the country have been badly-hit by the virus which has killed 463 and infected more than 9,000.

Champions League newcomers Atalanta could qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition on Tuesday, as they take a 4-1 advantage into the last 16, second leg.

"If what had happened had not happened, the municipality would have liked to set up a giant screen for this historic match," continued Gori.

"But we must all be responsible and act properly. Tonight we will watch Atalanta alone and we hope to win.

"In the event of a victory, no parade, no celebrations in the streets, do not go into the city, do not go to welcome the team. We are still all allowed to cheer through the window."

Meanwhile, a group of Atalanta fans have reportedly opted to forego their ticket reimbursements for the game which will be played behind closed doors in Spain, asking for the money, estimated at 60,000 euros ($68,000), be donated to a local hospital where many virus-victims are being treated.

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