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 has said.
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.
The match at San Siro is due to be played with no fans in attendance.
“The Spanish government, which is what we have to follow, has banned return flights between Spain and Italy,” Getafe president Angel Torres told Onda Cero radio.
“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.”
The match remains scheduled despite an announcement on Monday that all Serie A fixtures have been 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.
Italy, which has the highest number of reported cases outside of China, has more than 10,000 infections and 631 deaths.
“I think they [UEFA] have been sleeping on their laurels,” Torres said. “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.