Getafe will not go to Milan for Europa tie, says club president

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 16 draw - Nyon, Switzerland - February 28, 2020 Europa League Ambassador Dietmar Hamann draws Getafe REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - Getafe will not travel to Milan for Thursday’s Europa League match against Inter due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, even if it means losing the tie, the Spanish club’s president said.

The region of Lombardy, where Milan is located, is at the epicentre of Europe’s worse coronavirus outbreak which has prompted the Italian government to impose a nationwide lockdown.

The match at San Siro is due to be played with no fans in attendance.

“We have looked for an alternative to playing in Milan,” club president Angel Torres told Onda Cero radio.

“We don’t want to be in the focal point of the coronavirus outbreak, we don’t need that. We have also asked the (Spanish) federation to demand the suspension.”

Spain on Tuesday decided to cancel all direct flights from Italy -- though not to Italy -- for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“If we have to lose the tie, then we lose it,” said Torres.

“We don’t want to run any sort of risk. We are really excited about this match but if we have to lose it, then so be it.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Peter Rutherford