Barcelona superstars including Lionel Messi face coronavirus checks before they face Napoli in the Champions League… and Inter Milan could play at a neutral venue as virus fears hit Italy
- Napoli are due to host Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday
- Barca will face strict tests for coronavirus when they enter and leave the country
- Inter Milan host Ludogorets in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday
- That second-leg tie could be played behind closed doors or at a neutral venue
The severity of the coronavirus is now affecting top level football in Italy with procedures in place for clubs involved in the Champions League and Europa League this week.
On Tuesday Napoli host Barcelona in the last 16 of the former with Inter entertaining Ludogorets in the last 32 of the latter two days later.
According to ESPN, Barcelona will face strict tests when they enter and leave the country for their visit to Naples as per a memo sent to them by the Italian government.
Lionel Messi (right) and his Barcelona team-mates are set for coronavirus checks on Monday
They are due to fly to Naples on Monday ahead of their Champions League tie on Tuesday night
Ernesto Valverde’s squad, who are travelling to the south of Italy on Monday, must pass through a temperature screening control on arrival at Napoli-Capodichino airport.
ESPN add that if any of the travelling party is found to have a high temperature or fever they will be taken straight to hospital for tests in line with the Disease Prevention and Control protocol.
The coronavirus outbreak has affected more than 80 people with two people killed in Italy to date – with all the cases taking place in the north of the country.
And on Thursday, it is the north of the country where football is due to take place with Inter Milan’s Europa League last-32 second leg against Ludogorets.
Italy has been struck by an outbreak of the coronavirus with over 80 cases reported so far
Inter Milan’s Europa League last-16 clash with Ludogorets could be moved to a neutral venue
That match is due to take place at Inter’s iconic San Siro but that could be moved to a neutral venue as a precaution to the coronavirus epidemic.
Italian outlet ANSA reports that this is a possibility and would only happen if the idea of playing the match behind closed doors at the San Siro is rejected.
Milan is in the northern region of Lombardy – where on Sunday night all sporting events were cancelled due to the coronavirus. The same applied for the Veneto region too.
Inter were due to host Sampdoria in Serie A on Sunday night but that match was subsequently postponed as a result.
The match is due to take place at the San Siro on Thursday night but that is now in some doubt
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