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SPORTS

Despite UEFA Postponing Europa League Games, Olympiakos Expected to Play

March 11, 2020

ATHENS – Greek club Olympiakos is expected to play its Europa League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday despite owner Evangelos Marinakis saying he has tested positive for the disease. Olympiakos said tests on players, coaches, medical and technical staff were negative.

Two Europa League matches scheduled to be played in Spain and Italy on Thursday have been postponed because of traveling restrictions prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, UEFA said Wednesday.

The governing body of European soccer said the games between Sevilla and Roma in Spain, and Inter Milan and Getafe in Italy “will not take place as scheduled.”

“Further decisions on the two matches will be communicated in due course,” UEFA said.

Italian soccer club Roma had said earlier Wednesday it would not make its trip to Seville because “the plane from Italy was not authorized to land in Spain.” Getafe president Angel Torres had said his team would not travel to Italy because he did not want to risk his players’ health by going to an area struggling to contain the spread of the virus.

The spreading virus has affected sports around the world, forcing many professional soccer games in Europe to be played in empty stadiums and canceling dozens of other events from tennis to gymnastics. It’s also put into question whether Tokyo will be able to host the Olympics in July and August.

On Tuesday, Spain announced that all sports events with a significant number of people must be played without fans, while Italy on Monday suspended all sporting events until April 3. Italy is the country with the most coronavirus cases in Europe.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

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