Coronavirus impact...Euro qualifiers, Forest owner and Gary Neville speaks out
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the global sporting calendar, Gladbach against Cologne was moved behind closed doors.
The coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on the sporting calendar. Further measures to prevent the spread of the virus were taken on Tuesday, affecting a plethora of sports and leagues.
More events were subject to postponements, while games taking place in empty arenas will become a regular sight in the coming weeks.
Here we look at the sporting decisions announced as the world attempts to tackle the outbreak.
In Germany, the rearranged Bundesliga match between rivals Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne, which was originally cancelled due to Storm Ciara, will now be played behind closed doors on Wednesday.
Gladbach CEO Stephan Schippers expressed his concern at a news conference, saying: "From a commercial perspective, you can't plan for something like this.
"We will lose €2m per game. We have insurance against games that are called off, but not if they are played behind closed doors. That will hurt all clubs, including Borussia, financially. Fans have the right to be reimbursed. The settlement process will be discussed, but for now we need to see if more games will also follow. In that sense, we will find the right solution."
Tomorrow's derby (18:30 CET) against @fckoeln_en will take place behind closed doors. Borussia are following the decision made by the City of Mönchengladbach, with regards to the ongoing #Coronavirus developments. #BMGKOE pic.twitter.com/AuVJEJOdek— Gladbach (@borussia_en) March 10, 2020
All sporting activity in Italy is suspended until April 3 by the country's Olympic Committee, in a decision pending government ratification made on Monday. In a statement, the committee conceded it does not have jurisdiction over international competitions. Following that, it was confirmed the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Napoli on March 18 will go ahead behind closed doors. The Italian club insisted reports claiming they wanted the match to be postponed were "fake news".
Wales will follow the advice of Italian authorities on whether Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be allowed to leave the country to take part in their home matches with Austria and the United States later this month, amid the lockdown on travel in Italy.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport released a statement insisting there was "no rationale" to postponing sporting events at this stage in the United Kingdom. Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said the message sporting authorities had received from the government was "let's not panic".
Former Manchester United captain, Salford City co-owner and influential pundit Gary Neville has declared he is not in support of matches behind closed doors. "If it's necessary to shut down stadiums the associations must find a way of delaying the season and playing the games when it is safe to do so to protect the revenues for clubs that require this income to survive," he tweeted.
Matches in Poland's top flight, the Ekstraklasa, will be played without supporters until further notice. The Europa League final is scheduled to be played in Gdansk on May 27.
Ticket sales for Northern Ireland's away Euro 2020 play-off match against Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 26 have been suspended amid fears over the outbreak with the news that the play-off between Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland will be staged behind closed doors.
The owner of Greek side Olympiacos and Championship club Nottingham Forest, Evangelos Marinakis, has confirmed he has contracted COVID-19. He wrote on Instagram: "The virus has 'visited' me and I felt obliged to let the public know. I feel good as I take all the necessary measures and I discipline to the doctors' instructions."
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