MADRID: Two European club ties next week will be played behind closed doors to try to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Valencia’s Champions League last-16 tie at home to Atalanta on Tuesday is one and Internazionale’s Europa League tie against Spain’s Getafe on Thursday.
Spain’s health ministry, commenting on the Valencia match, has said it wants to avoid “large gatherings of fans”. Serie A side Atalanta hold a 4-1 lead from last month’s first leg in the northern Italian city of Bergamo. Spain has 237 reported cases of coronavirus so far, with three deaths.
Juventus’ Champions League tie against Lyon on March 17 is also at risk following the Italian government’s decree that all sport be played behind closed doors until April 3.
Italy is the worst-hit European country with some 2,706 cases and 107 deaths so far. As a result a number of Serie A matches are being staged behind closed doors.
In France Saturday’s Ligue 1 game between Strasbourg and champions Paris Saint-Germain has been postponed because the Alsace region is one of the worst hit by the coronavirus in France, where 613 cases and nine deaths have been reported.