Getafe will not travel to Milan for their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Inter as club president Angel Torres is unwilling to risk his players amid the coronavirus crisis in Italy.
A government decree issued by Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday put Italy on lockdown, with over 9,000 people becoming infected with COVID-19.
All domestic sporting events have been postponed until April 3, but Thursday’s Europa League meeting between Inter and Getafe at San Siro is still due to go ahead behind closed doors.
Getafe chief Torres is refusing to let his team travel to Milan, however, accepting his actions could result in the Madrid-based side forfeiting the opening leg of their round-of-16 tie.
— Getafe C.F. (@GetafeCF) March 10, 2020
Speaking on the Onda Cero radio show El Transistor, Torres said: “Unless things change, tomorrow [Wednesday] Getafe will not travel to Italy.
“We have asked UEFA to look for an alternative to play in Milan. We do not want to get into the middle of the coronavirus, we have no need.
“We have also asked the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation for help to demand the suspension.
“If we have to lose the tie, we will lose it. I will not be the one to assume any risk. It makes us very emotional, but if it has to be this way, it will be.
“I have been told to ask the Ministry of Public Works for a special permit [to allow travel to Italy], but I will not ask for any permission. I will not go to a place where I do not want to go.
“The people of Inter with whom we have spoken recognise that it is incomprehensible that we have to travel there. I am not going to consent.
“Getafe will not fly. We are not going to go to Italy. Either the game is moved from there, or it is postponed. The most sensible thing would be to postpone it.
“UEFA tells us to ask the government for a special permit [to travel]. I will not do it, I will stick to the laws of my country.”
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