Inter to Play Europa League Clash Behind Closed Doors to Combat Coronavirus Spread

Inter will play their Europa League last 32 second leg against Ludogorets Razgrad behind closed doors at San Siro over fears of the spread of coronavirus in Italy.

With more than 160 confirmed cases so far, Italy has already been the worst affected European country and precautionary measures are being taken to prevent further outbreaks.

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An estimated 2,600 people have already died in China as a result of the virus.

There are several lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the national government, including parts of Lombardy, where Milan is located, and Veneto. Even outside of the exclusion zones, extra care is being taken, with a number of Milanese schools closed on Monday.

Over the weekend, the Italian government called off all sporting events in Lombardy and Veneto, with Inter’s Serie A clash against Sampdoria postponed as a result. Three other Serie A games elsewhere in northern Italy were also suspended.

The BBC has additionally reported that a hotel on the Spanish island of Tenerife is now currently on lockdown because an Italian doctor there tested positive for Coronavirus on Monday.

Several hundred Ludogorets fans had been expected to travel from Bulgaria for Thursday night’s Europa League clash, with the hope that playing the game without fans will limit the potential for the virus to further spread internationally, as well as protect the players from possible exposure.

It is not only Italy that is taking preventative and precautionary measures over coronavirus where football is concerned, with Japan’s J-League announcing this week that all seven league cup fixtures scheduled for this Wednesday have been postponed.

The 2020 Chinese Super League season was due to begin on 22 February, but the whole campaign has been suspended following the outbreak of the virus.

Manchester United recently decided to leave January signing Odion Ighalo, who is on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, out of a training camp in Spain over fears he might not have been allowed back into the UK under tightening restrictions on travellers from China.


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