Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho complained Saturday that a swine flu outbreak in Ukraine is hampering his preparations for the Champions League match away to Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday.
Inter play Livorno on Sunday but already Mourinho’s mind has wandered to the crucial European encounter.
A defeat to Dynamo would dent Inter’s hopes of reaching the knock-out stages and Mourinho is worried that the uncertainty over the venue for game — it is possible that it will be moved from Ukraine — will disrupt his preparations.
“I can’t see how it would be possible to put back the match with Dynamo Kiev given that there are no other available dates,” said Mourinho.
“They definitely have to decide before Monday, it wouldn’t be possible for a team to leave for the Ukraine and then to come back without playing.
“The government of Ukraine and UEFA have to decide as soon as possible.”
Inter’s Mario Balotelli is out of Sunday’s showdown due to contracting flu, although not the swine variant.
His will be one of a few changes Mourinho will make to the team that beat Palermo in an eight-goal thriller on Thursday.
“I’m not going to make many changes because I’m thinking about Livorno. I’ll make no more than four,” said Mourinho.
Although missing Balotelli, who scored twice against Palermo, Inter have Diego Milito back to full fitness having played most of the second half — and scored — against Palermo.
And Mourinho is confident that Samuel Eto’o — who also bagged a brace on Thursday — will not be kept out by his foot problem.
“Eto’o is not 100 percent fit, his foot isn’t right, but there are many players who go through an entire season with a small problem,” added the coach.
Mourinho was involved in an argument with a journalist during Saturday’s pre-match press conference after he accused the Gazzetta dello Sport of lying.
He has dropped teenage full-back Davide Santon from Sunday’s squad after he was caught out of position several times during the second half on Thursday.
But he got involved in a slagging match with a Gazzetta journalist after accusing him of lying on the newspaper’s front page. The paper claimed Mourinho had telephoned the player on Thursday night.
“He’s not going through a good period, for example today on the front page of the newspapers there was a lie about him,” said Mourinho.
“I didn’t call Santon after the game, I spoke with him for an hour yesterday (Friday) in training with my assistants.
“This kind of thing of course doesn’t help a young lad.”
Inter are four points clear at the top of Serie A although Juventus could close that gap for 24 hours at least as they play a day before Inter.
Livorno were rock bottom 10 days ago but replaced Gennaro Ruotolo with Serse Cosmi as coach and have won two on the trot since then.