EPL and La Liga hit by the coronavirus, Latest Football News - The New Paper

EPL and La Liga hit by the coronavirus

Three Leicester City players showing symptoms, Spanish league halted as Real Madrid are quarantined

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on European football, with England and Spain the latest major nations affected.

Following on from Italy's suspension of Serie A and the news that Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Sampdoria's Manolo Gabbiadini have tested positive for Covid-19, the English Premier League and La Liga were also dealt blows yesterday.

Three Leicester City players have been isolated from the squad after showing symptoms of the coronavirus, while the Athletic reported that Chelsea cancelled training yesterday after someone close to the squad complained of virus symptoms.

Meanwhile, in Spain, La Liga authorities took the decision to suspend matches in the top two divisions for two weeks after Real Madrid confirmed their football team was in quarantine following a positive test for one of the club's basketball players.

The teams share facilities.

Said Real Madrid: "It has been decided to close the facilities at our training ground and it is also recommended that all Real Madrid personnel who work there remain in quarantine."

The Times yesterday reported that all EPL and lower division matches in England are to be played without spectators amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The report said the season will not be postponed and that the games behind closed doors will not be shown in pubs "to avoid congregation of people".

About 590 people in Britain have been infected by the coronavirus and 10 have died.

The Times said "the plan may be implemented once the number of UK coronavirus cases passes 500".

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, reported that EPL doctors are due to hold summit talks today to discuss what measures club medical teams will introduce to minimise the growing risk posed by the virus.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder expects EPL matches to be played behind closed doors.

He said ahead of his side's clash against Newcastle United tomorrow: "I think it's coming, maybe even in the next 24 to 48 hours. It might even happen for Newcastle.

"I know there is a meeting at 11 o'clock and I know it's picked up pace over the last day or so."


Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, confirmed that three of his players were in self-isolation, saying: "We've had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs (of the coronavirus). We've followed procedures and (as a precaution) they have been kept away from the squad."

In Germany, the first Bundesliga game to be played behind closed doors took place yesterday morning (Singapore time), as Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Cologne 2-1.

All Bundesliga matches this weekend will be played behind close doors, while France's top two tiers are set to do the same until April 15.

French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that the European Championship will be postponed to next year, while Madrid-based daily Marca said the Champions League and Europa League will be suspended.

Uefa yesterday said it will hold a video conference meeting of all 55 football federations in Europe plus representatives of clubs, leagues and players to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on all football in the region including Euro 2020.

European football's governing body has declined to discuss whether Euro 2020, which will be held in 12 different countries around Europe between June 12 and July 12, will be postponed or venues altered.

Uefa said the meeting would be held next Tuesday and that "discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020".