Published: 16:17, February 25, 2020 | Updated: 07:24, June 6, 2023
Coronavirus forces Milan to play Ludogorets behind closed doors
By Xinhua

Inter Milan's Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku (R) cheers the fans after the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg football match between PFC Ludogorets 1945 and Inter Milan at the Ludogorets Arena in Razgrad, Bulgaria, on Feb 20, 2020. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP)

ROME - The second leg of Inter Milan's Europa League knockout tie against Ludogorets Razgrad on Thursday will be played behind closed doors due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, European football governing body UEFA confirmed on Monday.

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Inter Milan head into the match with a 2-0 lead after the first leg against the Bulgarian side, but the Serie A giants will host Ludogorets at an empty San Siro, with coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout Italy.

There have been 152 reported cases across the country, and quarantine restrictions have been imposed in the northern regions of Lombardy - of which Milan is the capital - and Veneto.

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Four Serie A match scheduled for last Sunday were postponed, including Inter's home match against Sampdoria, and multiple reports suggest that all forthcoming Serie A, Coppa Italia and European matches in Italy may be played behind closed doors.  

A woman with a protective facemask walks across the Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Duomo, in central Milan, on Feb 24, 2020, following security measures taken in northern Italy against the novel coronavirus. (ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)