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Sevilla against Roma put behind closed doors

Sevilla’s match at home to Roma in the Europa League on Thursday has become the latest fixture to be put behind closed doors due to the coronavirus while La Liga is waiting for advice on whether to shut off domestic matches this weekend, AFP Sport understands.

Sevilla and Roma will play in front of empty stands at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, just as Valencia’s Champions League second leg at home to Atalanta on Tuesday will be also be played without fans.

“The Sevilla FC-AS Roma match in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 will be played behind closed doors,” read a Sevilla statement on Monday evening. “This is in order to preserve the safety of the public and to contain the contagion of COVID-19.”

La Liga is now waiting to take advice from the Spanish health authorities regarding the closure of league matches, with high-level government meetings on the issue scheduled for Tuesday.

Real Madrid are due to play against Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday night while Leganes also host Real Valladolid in Madrid on Saturday. 

A closure to fans could be applied just to games in Madrid, the worst-hit area for coronavirus cases in Spain, or consistently across the league.

In European competition, the move to restrict Sevilla’s game against Roma raises questions about Barcelona’s Champions League second leg match at home to Napoli on March 18.

As it stands, Atletico Madrid fans will be allowed to travel to Anfield to watch Atleti face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday but it remains to be seen if Real Madrid’s second leg against Manchester City in England on March 17 stays open.

Sevilla’s second leg against Roma in Italy had already been put behind closed doors, with Italy registering more than 7,000 cases of coronavirus on Monday.

Spain has been less affected so far, with just under 1,000 confirmed cases on Monday and almost 500 of those in Madrid.

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