Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Paris Saint-Germain say their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund should go ahead “in normal conditions” over fears of losing out on 5 million EUR in ticket sales.
The latest development comes after French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said yesterday that the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)-Dortmund Champions League clash might be played behind closed doors.
Her entourage have since reportedly said that the PSG-Dortmund match being played behind closed doors is just a worst-case scenario.
L’Equipe say that should the match take place without spectators, this would represent a loss of 5 million EUR (4.35 million GBP) for the club in terms of ticket sales, quoting PSG as saying that it should go ahead “in normal conditions.”
UEFA, who met for their annual Congress in Amsterdam yesterday, remain cautious, with Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA’s Secretary General quoted as saying: “The schedule is busy and each match postponement could be problematic.
“We are discussing the situation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the various governments. We must intervene on a case by case basis and not overreact.”
A coordination group to “find the best answers” to the spread of the virus was created after a meeting with the main European leagues.
L’Equipe are quick to point out however that UEFA is not a decision-maker, saying “the threat is very real in the knockout stages of the Champions League.”
The Spanish government has decided that the second leg scheduled for next Tuesday (10th March) between Valencia and Atalanta Bergamo (a club in Lombardy – the Italian region most affected by the epidemic with 55 deaths) will take place behind closed doors.
The same goes for the second leg of the round of 16 for the Europa League match between Getafe and Inter Milan (19th March).
FIFA President Gianni Infantino stressed the need for cooperation in relation to upcoming international match calendar debates and challenged all stakeholders “to face questions that may have been avoided in the past”.
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