Sevilla against Roma put behind closed doors as La Liga consider options

MADRID (AFP) – Sevilla’s match at home to Roma in the Europa League tomorrow 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 yesterday was also 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 soon.

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.