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Coronavirus: Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says Europa League tie should be postponed

The owner of Greek club Olympiakos - Wolves' Europa League opponents - has announced he has the virus

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Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo says football should stop instead of games being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes their Europa League tie away to Olympiakos on Thursday should be postponed after the outbreak of coronavirus in Greece.

The Europa League last-16 first-leg tie in Athens will take place behind closed doors as part of coronavirus measures.

However, Nuno says that the health of his players and staff should be a priority and insists that he would feel more comfortable if the game was postponed.

"I understand the decision to play behind closed doors but what is the point of football? It doesn't make sense to play behind closed doors," he said.

"This is more than football. This is a social situation. Everybody is worried. Something has to be done. Closed doors in stadiums is not a solution. It's not normal.

Evangelos Marinakis self-isolating and says he 'feels good'
Image: Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis is self-isolating and says he 'feels good'

"We are pretending to lead a normal life when things are not normal. Is there another solution for it? Why not stop?"

Wolves travel to West Ham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and measures have been put in place by the Premier League in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, with a ban on players and match officials from shaking hands before matches.

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Teams and officials still participated in the pre-match walk-outs but were advised against the tradition of shaking hands.

As it stands, there are no plans to postpone any Premier League fixtures or play them behind closed doors, and Nuno claims he will not refuse to take part in fixtures despite his views on the issue.

He said: "We have obligations. I'm an employee. If we have to go, then we will go.

Bruno Fernandes Man Utd
Image: Manchester United's Europa League fixture at LASK in Austria will also be played behind closed doors

"We are not happy to go. Olympiakos are suffering their own problems. It's time to think - is there another option? Can we stop? This will eventually happen in the Premier League. Let's think about it.

"We are living with fear. If we have to go then as a club, then we have to come back.

"Me as a parent - should I go there if I didn't have the obligation of my job? It's bigger than football. It's social, it's society."

All sporting events in Italy are to be suspended until April 3 due to the growing spread of the coronavirus, while La Liga officials have confirmed that matches in the first and second divisions will be played without fans.

The Bundesliga fixture between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke will be played at an empty Westfalenstadion on Saturday, along with all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches in France until April 15.

Nuno does not believe that playing games behind closed doors is the right thing to do and insists that playing without fans is pointless.

"I wouldn't like [playing behind closed doors], honestly. The main purpose of football is the fans. What about the fans? I agree with the decisions being made because it's to try and prevent the spread of the virus," said the Wolves boss.

"What about the Wolves fans who have spent £2000 on hotels and trips? They want to go and celebrate with the club in the Europa League. But on his own life, the impact is huge."

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