Man Utd clash behind closed doors as Wolves make Coronavirus plea

Date published: Tuesday 10th March 2020 3:07

Manchester United’s Europa League match at LASK on Thursday will be played behind closed doors following Austrian government advice over the threat of Coronavirus.

A post on the club’s Twitter account read: “LASK has announced that the home game against @ManUtd scheduled for Thursday must take place without a spectator. The association will provide further information after publication of the relevant decree.”

Austrian Bundesliga chairman Christian Ebenbauer told “Of course we all prefer to watch atmospheric games with many spectators, but we are experiencing an exceptional situation across the country.

“We fully trust the experts responsible and of course implement the measures to protect the population. Like other organisers, these measures are associated with massive organisational and financial challenges for us and our clubs.”

News of United’s match comes after Nottingham Forest confirmed majority owner Evangelos Marinakis has contracted coronavirus.

The Greek businessman – also owner of Olympiacos, who are due to play Wolves behind closed doors in the Europa League on Thursday – attended Friday night’s Sky Bet Championship match against Millwall, where he reportedly met with the first-team squad.

He revealed on Instagram on Tuesday morning that he was now following the advice of doctors regarding self-isolation.

Marinakis said: “The recent virus has ‘visited’ me and I felt obliged to let the public know.”

“Nottingham Forest can confirm that owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus,” a club statement read.

“Mr Marinakis was diagnosed after showing the first symptoms on his return to Greece yesterday afternoon. During his short stay in Nottingham last week he did not show any symptoms of the virus.

“The club are seeking advice from medical professionals and the relevant governing bodies to ensure the correct measures are taken.”


Wolves seeking postponement

Raul Jimenez Wolves celeb TEAMtalk

It is understood an initial discussion has taken place between Forest and the English Football League, and that those conversations will continue throughout the day to ascertain what the situation is.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Greek Super League leaders Olympiacos were still planning on hosting Wolves, but the Premier League club have asked UEFA to postpone the fixture, the PA news agency understands.

A decision on the last-16 tie is expected in the next 24 hours, with Wolves reluctant to travel to Athens after Olympiacos owner Marinakis contracted coronavirus.

The Greek government has enforced a two-week suspension of spectators attending sporting events due to the outbreak of Covid-19, with the game due to be played behind closed doors.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo told Sky Sports: “I don’t agree with playing football behind closed doors. If we have to go there, we will go, but we don’t agree.”


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