Italian and Spanish Player Associations have demanded that UEFA postpone all European matches involving the two countries due to the coronavirus crisis.
The move comes after Atalanta defeated Valencia behind closed doors at the Mestalla to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals.
Both countries still have several other clubs in European competitions, with several facing each other – Inter-Getafe, Sevilla-Roma and Barcelona-Napoli – but players from the two countries have made it clear they don’t want matches to be played.
“The situations in Italy, Spain and Europe involve a public health crisis due to the spread of the COVID19 virus, and it’s forcing us to make difficult and inevitable decisions,” read a joint statement by the AIC and AFE.
“Valencia-Atalanta was played behind closed doors, but today saw the Spanish government raise the emergency level and ban all flights to and from Italy.
“In Italy the national emergency grows with every hour. Playing a match in Milan in the coming days would put a lot of people at risk. Flights between Italy and Spain in the coming weeks will become even more complicated and dangerous.
“Even the return legs next week are at risk of being played in emergency situations for the two countries.
“The AIC and AFE jointly ask UEFA that matches involving Italian and Spanish clubs be postponed in order that they be played in more secure conditions and with less of an emergency in the two countries.
“Coronavirus is becoming a European problem, not just an Italian one. We believe that a period of reflection regarding the schedule of all European competitions should be done given news continues to get worse with every passing hour.”
The news comes as Getafe President Angel Torres announced that his team will not travel to Italy for their Europa League match with Inter on Thursday.