UEFA Set To Suspend Champions League And Europa League Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Emerging reports suggest that UEFA are set to postpone both the Champions League and Europa League with immediate effect due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The escalating spread of the killer bug is wreaking havoc across the globe and has already put a halt to major sporting events worldwide.

Spanish publication Marca reports that all of tonight’s Europa League encounters involving the likes of LASK vs Manchester United are set to be called off.

Concerns that large fans gathering at the games could further the spread of the disease has led to the decision.

Even though a number of the games were already set to be played behind closed doors, there would no means of preventing fans from camping in numbers outside the stadiums as witnessed in the game involving PSG and Borussia Dortmund which was played behind closed doors on Wednesday.

On Thursday, La Liga announced that games in Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for two weeks following a meeting between the league, the Spanish FA and the players union.

The Italian Serie A has been called off until 3 April at least and the French Ligue 1 has also been postponed.

Matches in England are set to go ahead as normal although the Premier League revealed contingency plans to host games behind closed doors if the coronavirus situation in England worsens.

UEFA, however, have decided to call of both European competitions completely amid worsening coronavirus epidemics in member countries.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus putting their Champions League tie against Lyon next Tuesday in doubt as everyone he came into contact with including team-mates and staff must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Clearly this prevents them from playing and potentially spreading coronavirus, meaning UEFA have little choice but to suspend games.

Real Madrid’s Champions League tie against Manchester City is also in doubt after the entire club entered into a 15-day quarantine after one of their basketball players contracted coronavirus.

The Spanish side had been due to face City in England next Tuesday but will be in quarantine until at least March 27.

Manchester United’s game against LASK on Thursday night was initially going to be played behind closed doors and the club are reimbursing fans £350 who forked out to attend.

Now the match is not going to be played and an alternative time will have to be found for it to take place.

Olympiakos, whose owner Evangelos Marinakis has coronavirus, had been due to host Wolverhampton Wanderers behind closed doors tonight.

More than 1000 people in Europe have died from coronavirus so far and the World Health Organisation has declared it a pandemic.

The NBA also called off its season indefinitely after two players tested positive for COVID-19.