Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Europa: Inter vs Roma game called off over coronavirus

The Europa League has been left in limbo as a result of the coronavirus outbreak with two ties involving Italian clubs called off

and four more games scheduled for Thursday to be played behind closed doors.

UEFA on Wednesday confirmed that the last 16, first legs between Inter Milan and Getafe in Italy, and between Sevilla and Roma in Spain, would not go ahead as planned.

The announcement came after Spanish authorities suspended flights until March 25 to the country from Italy, which has been the worst-hit European nation by an outbreak now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

With the second legs due to be played next week, it is unclear how the ties will be resolved.

“There is the possibility that the tie will be played as a one-off match on a neutral ground,” said the Getafe Director-General, Clemente Villaverde. “In any case we will accept whatever decision is taken by UEFA.”

The Spanish side had declared on Tuesday night that they would refuse to travel for the tie. All domestic sports events in Italy have been suspended until April 3, but European competitions are under the jurisdiction of UEFA so can in theory still go ahead.

Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed on Tuesday that their game at home to Swiss side Basel would go ahead behind closed doors due to the extent of the outbreak in Germany’s financial capital.

Uncertainty continues to surround the second leg in Switzerland next week, however. Basel have said the game will not go ahead in the country, where all football in the top two domestic leagues has already been postponed for the rest of the month.

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