Coronavirus: UEFA confirms Inter Milan- Getafe & Sevilla-Roma postponements in Europa League
Travelling restrictions had been imposed between Spain and Italy by Spanish authorities; Roma and Getafe had previously indicated they would not travel for their respective last-16 ties
Last Updated: 11/03/20 4:36pm
Inter Milan's clash with Getafe and Sevilla's game against Roma in the Europa League last 16 have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns, UEFA has confirmed.
The region of Lombardy, where Milan is located, is at the epicentre of Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak which has prompted the Italian government to impose a nationwide lockdown and the match on Thursday at the San Siro was due to be played with no fans in attendance.
Roma also announced earlier on Wednesday that they would not travel to Spain for their Europa League match against Sevilla.
Prior to UEFA's announcement, Getafe president Angel Torres told Onda Cero radio that his side were not prepared to travel to northern Italy because of the health risks.
"The Spanish government, which is what we have to follow, has banned return flights between Spain and Italy," he said.
"The Italian government has banned its own competition out of fear of further spread of the disease. If we were to put ourselves in the firing line by playing there, it would be a contradiction that doesn't make any sense.
"It would be great to play the tie against Inter and we were very excited as a club and a fan base, but if that can't happen and we have to lose the tie, we'll do so with our heads held high."
On Monday, an announcement declared that all Serie A fixtures were to be suspended until at least April 3, with the Italian football federation having since admitted that the season may not be completed because of the virus.
Meanwhile, all matches in La Liga will be played behind closed doors for the next two rounds of fixtures at least.
Italy, which has the highest number of reported cases outside of China, has more than 10,000 infections and 631 deaths. In Spain there are over 1,600 confirmed cases and there have been 35 fatalities so far.
Criticising European football's governing body over their response so far towards the outbreak, Torres added: "I think they [UEFA] have been sleeping on their laurels.
"There are people who are scared of UEFA, but I'm scared of the people close to me contracting this disease by going to the main epicentre of it where 262 people have died in two days.
"If we put ourselves in the firing line, contract the disease and come back, the Spanish league would have to be suspended. That's not what we need. We might ask the Spanish Football Federation to intervene, but I don't know how much influence they'll have over there.
"We can't play in those conditions. Health comes above everything and if a game isn't played or can't be watched, we'll take part next year instead if they let us."
Elsewhere in the Europa League, Manchester United's game away at Austrian side LASK is still set to go ahead behind closed doors, while Wolves' appeal to UEFA for their clash away at Olympiakos to be postponed was rejected on Tuesday.