Coronavirus could force some UEFA Champions League round of 16 matches to be played behind closed doors

As countries around the globe aim to contain and combat the coronavirus, its impact on sports continues to increase. As the virus spreads across the world, there could be Champions League matches played without any spectators to try and prevent further spreading of the illness. 

France’s minister of sport Roxana Maracineanu said that Paris Saint-Germain’s home match against Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 on March 11 could be played behind closed doors, per German daily newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten. This comes after the France recently surpassed 100 confirmed cases of the virus, according to Le Monde. Some games across the world last week, including the big Juventus-Inter Milan Serie A match — were postponed as the virus spreads across Italy and other parts of Asia and Europe.

Last month, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the deadly new strain of virus that has infected thousands and killed over 3,000 people. The virus originated in Wuhan, China and has now spread to all corners of the globe. There are confirmed cases in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Russia, Australia, India, Ireland and many more nations. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can cause symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some patients show just mild symptoms and recover, while others have at times developed life-threatening complications such as pneumonia. 

UEFA isn’t panicking over the virus when it comes to Euro 2020 preparation, according to Sky Sports, but the governing body has yet to announce their stance as to what should happen with any Champions League matches. Just on Tuesday, UEFA held a large gathering in Amsterdam for the UEFA Nations League draw.

PSG hasn’t officially commented on what may happen for the March 11 contest. Dortmund leads the tie 2-1 after winning the first leg in February.

For more on how the coronavirus is affecting sporting events across the globe, click here

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