Italian soccer team Inter Milan may have booked its place in the next round of the Europa League on Thursday but none of its fans were in the San Siro stadium to witness it.
The eerie match against Bulgarian side Ludogorets was ordered to be played behind closed doors as Italian authorities continue to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.
More than 650 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Italy so far with entire towns in quarantine across the north of the country.
The Ludogorets team arrived in Milan wearing medical face masks, needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
However, Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Biraghi canceled out Oliveira Souza’s opening goal for the visitors as the fixture finished 4-1 on aggregate.
Serie A disruption
The match was just the latest sporting event to be impacted by the virus with more than 83,000 cases confirmed worldwide.
Four matches in Italy’s top-flight Serie A were postponed last weekend and five of this weekend’s matches will be played in front of empty stadiums.
Juventus’ top of the table clash against Inter is one of the fixtures affected by the decision that was confirmed by Serie A Thursday.
Udinese vs. Fiorentina, AC Milan vs. Genoa, Parma vs. SPAL and Sassuolo vs. Brescia are the other games to be played behind closed doors.
Euro 2020 fears
There are fears the outbreak in the country could impact Euro 2020, with the tournament set to kick off in Rome on June 12, though European football’s governing body UEFA said that “for the moment there is no need to change anything in the planned timetable.”
“UEFA is in touch with the relevant international and local authorities regarding the coronavirus and its development,” said the UEFA statement.
“The issue will be kept under constant scrutiny.”