La Liga Matches, Including Barcelona vs. Napoli, Will Be Played Behind Closed Doors Due To Coronavirus
La Liga announced on Tuesday that football in Spain will be played behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks as coronavirus continues to spread across Europe.
The Champions League match scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, between FC Barcelona and Napoli, will be played at Camp Nou behind closed doors. pic.twitter.com/4uceIGrobY
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 10, 2020
A statement from La Liga read: “According to information from the High Council of sports [CSD], La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank matches will be played behind closed doors, starting today [March 10] and for at least the next two weeks.
The ban will prevent club supporters from entering arenas all the way through the second division. La Liga matches will be played behind closed doors until at least March 22, covering the next two rounds of top-tier fixtures in the country, to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus. The top two leagues in France will see games without fans until April 15. Portugal’s top two tiers are also shut off to fans this weekend, while Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 match against LASK on Thursday will also be a closed-door affair.
“La Liga will continue to be in permanent contact with the Ministry of Health and the CSD to follow its recommendations and/or decisions, prioritizing the health of fans, players, club employees, and journalists due to the COVID-19 health crisis,” read a statement from the club.
The Italian government placed the country in a nationwide lockdown on Monday after the death toll from the coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, rose by 97 to 463. On Monday, Germany confirmed its first two deaths from 1,139 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Only China, where the virus was first discovered, has been hit worse by the outbreak. As a result of the emergency measures, public gatherings have been banned and sporting events are suspended.