COVID-19 outbreak at Inter, Sassuolo postponed

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(Reuters) - Inter Milan's Serie A match at home to Sassuolo on Saturday has been postponed and their players will be pulled out of international duty after two more positive COVID-19 cases at the club, Inter said in a statement on Thursday.

Stefan de Vrij and Matias Vecino tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, joining captain Samir Handanovic and Danilo D’Ambrosio in quarantine at home.

Local health authorities requested that the Sassuolo match be cancelled.

"Having been informed of the new positive cases, the ATS of Milan (health authority) has decided on the immediate suspension of any type of team activity for four days, including Sunday 21 March," said an Inter statement.

"Inter v Sassuolo, scheduled for Saturday 20 March 2021, is to be postponed and players are prohibited from fulfilling any call-ups to their respective national teams."

Serie A has yet to confirm Saturday's match has been postponed and was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Inter are top of the Serie A standings, nine points clear of rivals AC Milan in second and 10 ahead of champions Juventus in third.

The Sassuolo match is Inter's last Serie A game until the weekend of April 3 due to the upcoming international break, with World Cup qualifiers taking place over the next two weeks.

A ban on players leaving would mean Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Denmark's Christian Eriksen will remain in Milan, as well as Italy players ahead of their matches against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)