LaLiga becomes the latest league to have its fixtures played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak. The league announced on Monday that matches from the upcoming two matchdays will be played in an empty stadium as Spanish Football Federation tries to combat the outbreak of the virus in the country. Multiple publications in Spain reported that the decision was made after consultation with the Spanish health authorities. Along with LaLiga, Segunda Divison fixtures will also be played in an empty stadium with Friday night's (Saturday IST) clash between Real Madrid and Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu set to be one of the first fixtures.
There it is - LaLiga have taken advice from Spanish health authorities and next two weekends of Primera and Segunda are behind closed doors, starting with Madrid v Eibar at Bernabeu on Friday.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) March 10, 2020
The threat due to the outbreak of Coronavirus has worsened in recent weeks with Italy the most affected outside of Asia. Spain is reportedly the fourth-worst affected country in Europe after Italy, France and Germany. The confirmed cases of the virus in the country reportedly jumped from 589 to 1024 on Monday. According to Bloomberg, the death toll in Spain has already crossed 25.
Amidst such dire circumstances, the Spanish Football Federation has taken the decision to play games behind closed doors for two Matchdays. However, it is also reported that games will be staged in an empty stadium 'as long as deemed necessary by the government.'
Spanish radio show El Transistor (Cadena Copa) further reported that if needed, LaLiga will hand a request to UEFA to delay the start of the Euro 2020 to finish the remaining 11 Matchdays of LaLiga.
Spanish side Getafe has refused to travel to Milan for their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Inter Milan. Club president Angel Torres noted that he is unwilling to risk the health of his players with Italy currently reeling due to the virus outbreak. While refusing to fly to Italy, Torres added that he is willing to face the Italian outfit at a different venue or at a later date.
With 27 matches played, Barcelona hold a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the points table. Meanwhile, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Getafe and Atletico Madrid are all embroiled in the race for European qualification. At the other end of the spectrum, Mallorca, Leganes, Espanyol, Celta Vigo and Eibar are all facing a heated relegation battle.