Roma will not travel to Spain for their Europa League fixture against Sevilla after Spanish authorities refused to allow their flight to land amid the escalating coronavirus crisis, the Italian club said Wednesday.
“AS Roma will not travel to Spain for the Europa League match against Sevilla after the plane from Italy was not authorised to land in Spain,” the Serie A side wrote on Twitter. “More details from UEFA soon,” the team from the Italian capital said ahead of their last 16, first leg game scheduled for Thursday.
Another Italian team, Inter Milan are also due to host Spanish team Getafe on Thursday in the San Siro. But Getafe president Angel Torres said Tuesday his team would not travel to Italy. +Spanish authorities on Tuesday suspended all direct flights between Spain and Italy from Wednesday March 25.
Italy has been hit hardest of any European nation by the COVID-19 outbreak with 631 deaths, while 47 have died in Spain and more than 2,000 infected. A raft of matches will be played behind closed doors on the continent in the coming weeks, with Roma’s fellow Italians Atalanta cruising into the last eight of the Champions League in Valencia’s empty Mestalla stadium on Tuesday.
Spain’s La Liga will play matches in front of no fans for two weeks, while Serie A has been suspended until April 3 as Italy goes into lockdown in an attempt to slow the outbreak.