​The UK government has called a meeting with sports bodies and broadcasters to discuss staging Premier League matches behind closed doors if the coronavirus outbreak worsens.

In Italy, the government has ordered all games to be played in empty stadiums until 3 April to prevent the spread of the disease.

A report in the ​Daily Mail notes that the UK government are not currently limiting mass gatherings, but the situation is constantly under review.


Sports governing bodies, including the FA, have been told that if the epidemic worsens, crowd restrictions may come into play, with capping attendances at 500 an idea suggested last week. 

For certain events, including many football matches, a cap of 500 would only cover operational and broadcasting staff. 

According to ​BBC Sport, the government and sports bodies are preparing for a scenario where mass gatherings are banned in the UK. 

The logistics of applying this to sports fixtures will be assessed at a meeting with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Monday.

According to ​AP Sport, the meeting will discuss how to honour sporting fixtures while protecting the public. Broadcasters and the Premier League are assessing how to air games in stadiums that fans will be unable to access.

The Premier League have also discussed the nuclear option: the impact of the season being completely abandoned on government orders. 

All will be discussed at Monday's meeting with the government, where it is hoped the situation will be made clearer.

Marie Antoinette Katoto,Jordyn Huitema

The ​Premier League and EFL have said pre-match handshakes will not take place over the coming weeks, with players and managers in midweek fixtures across the world opting for an elbow tap instead. 

Several clubs have also told players to not sign autographs or take photos with fans. 

Within the Premier League, it is anticipated that games will be played behind closed doors within a fortnight, depending on government advice.