February 25 – Inter Milan’s Europa League last-32 home second leg against Ludogorets of Bulgaria will be played behind closed doors as the spread of the coronavirus hits European competition.
Inter were one of four Serie A clubs forced to postpone their domestic weekend games in a country that has the largest number of the cases of the virus in Europe.
Talks have since been taking place between the club, Italian government officials and UEFA about Thursday’s Europa League fixture which is now going indoors, a blow to more than 600 Ludogorets fans who were due to travel from Bulgaria to the San Siro.
Serie A games are also likely to be staged behind closed doors, possibly even next weekend’s mouthwatering showdown in Turin between Juventus and Inter.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said.
Eleven towns in Italy are under lockdown but Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to keeping fans out is to continue postponements but Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football League, is opposed to this.
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