Barcelona-Napoli could be moved to Lisbon if Covid-19 spike worsens
The Catalunya region has been affected by a surge in coronavirus cases, which puts next month's Champions League tie into jeopardy.
UEFA has confirmed it will be ready to switch Barcelona's Champions League clash with Napoli from Camp Nou to a neutral ground if the spike in coronavirus cases in Catalunya worsens. European football's governing body is reluctant to switch the second leg of the last-16 tie to an alternative venue but is wary it may be necessary, its vice-president Michele Uva indicated.
Coronavirus cases rocket in Barcelona
A surge in positive Covid-19 cases in and around Barcelona has led to a local voluntary lockdown, with residents asked to stay at home for a fortnight. The public is only allowed to venture out for essential reasons.
Napoli are due to visit Barcelona on 8 August to resolve their Last 16 tie, and UEFA remains hopeful the game will be able to go ahead behind closed doors. A plan B would almost certainly see the match switched to be played in Portugal, where UEFA will stage the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of the competition later in August.
Uva told Italian broadcaster Radio Punto Nuovo: "Barcelona-Napoli? Napoli officially goes to play in Barcelona unless rules prohibit playing in Spain in the meantime. We hope that does not happen and the second legs will be played in the cities they belong to. Obviously there are back-up solutions."
Spokesperson @meritxellbudo: “We’re sending out an alert in response to the transmission of #COVID19. We need to act with determination to avoid finding ourselves back where we were in March.” pic.twitter.com/Sbv9Wg4lS9— Catalan Government (@catalangov) July 17, 2020
Tie hangs in the balance
Napoli held Barcelona 1-1 in Italy when the first leg was played on 25 February, before the coronavirus pandemic closed down football across most of Europe.
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