Roma can’t travel to Seville, Getafe won’t go to Milan
AS Roma’s match at Sevilla has become the latest Europa League tie to be thrown into doubt after the Italians said they could not travel to Spain for Thursday’s last-16 first leg, while Getafe said they would not play their game at Inter Milan.
Spain on Tuesday decided to cancel all direct flights from Italy — though not to Italy — for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“AS Roma will not travel to Spain for the Europa League match against Sevilla after the plane from Italy was not authorised to land in Spain. More details from UEFA soon,” said a statement on the club’s Twitter account on Wednesday.
Earlier, Getafe president Angel Torres told reporters his club refused to travel to Italy for their game at Inter, even if it meant they were kicked out of the competition.
The region of Lombardy, where Milan is located, is at the epicentre of Europe’s worse coronavirus outbreak which has prompted the Italian government to impose a nationwide lockdown.
The match at San Siro is due to be played without fans.
“We’re not going to play, we’re not going to travel to Italy, that has been decided,” Torres told reporters outside the club’s stadium.
“I can guarantee that we will not travel to Italy. UEFA will decide what happens next.”
The Getafe chief earlier told Onda Cero radio the club had asked the Spanish soccer federation to postpone the game, also requesting that the match be moved away from Italy.
“We have looked for an alternative to playing in Milan. We don’t want to be in the focal point of the coronavirus outbreak, we don’t need that. We have also asked the (Spanish) federation to demand the suspension,” he said.
“If we have to lose the tie, then we lose it. We don’t want to run any sort of risk. We are really excited about this match but if we have to lose it, then so be it.”
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