Paris police announced on Monday that Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League round of 16 second leg clash with Borussia Dortmund will go ahead but behind closed doors due to coronavirus fears.
Despite the club’s best efforts to sanitise Parc des Princes to make it possible to welcome spectators amid the coronavirus outbreak, the French government’s announcement on Sunday night that gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be banned until further notice has ended those hopes.
“Applying the measures announced by the Defence council last night,” read the Paris Police statement. “The Police prefect has decided that PSG vs. Dortmund will take place behind closed doors.”
PSG saw their Ligue 1 clash away at Strasbourg postponed on Saturday because of a spread of coronavirus in the lower Rhine region.
Talks are also ongoing over the possibility of playing Barcelona’s game against Napoli, scheduled for March 18, behind closed doors due to the continued outbreak.
Sources have told ESPN that Barca will meet with various departments of the Catalan government on Tuesday to make a final decision.
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The Catalan secretary for sport, Gerard Figueras, told local radio on Monday that “caution would advise” the game be played without supporters at Camp Nou.
Naples is not one of the areas areas in Italy which is locked down because of the virus, but Figueras explained there are concerns that allowing 5,000 Napoli fans to travel to Barcelona in the current climate is not a good idea.
The Spanish government has already confirmed that Valencia’s Champions League game in Spain this week against the Italian side Atalanta will be played behind closed doors.
RB Leipzig announced that their Champions League clash in Germany against Tottenham will go ahead on Tuesday with supporters allowed to attend.
Meanwhile, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June due to the outbreak.
FIFA added that the matches could still go ahead if the member associations due to play each other mutually agree, subject to prior approval.