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Coronavirus: Wolves question UEFA over 'unnecessary risks' of Olympiacos trip

  • UEFA's decision to stage Olympiacos versus Wolves behind closed doors has not gone far enough according to the Premier League club.
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Modified 11 Mar 2020, 04:58 IST
Wolves - cropped
Wolves celebrate at Tottenham

Wolves asked for UEFA to postpone Thursday's Europa League last-16 match at Olympiacos, only for European football's governing body to reject their request.

The opening leg will take place behind closed doors in line with Greek government policy aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier on Tuesday, Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in Greece, placing the fixture in doubt.

Wolves issued a statement to express disappointment over the decision to proceed with the match.

The statement read: "Our position is that the trip poses unnecessary risks to our players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times.

"Our concern is also for our opponents, whose players and staff have today been tested, and will now be expected to play their part in an important fixture, under the difficult and challenging circumstances of their owner suffering with the virus.

"There is also disappointment that the match will be played without home and away supporters, as that is part of what makes European competition so special, as well as the fact our fans have already contended with similar obstacles on our Europa League journey already this season.

"We believe that there are some things that are more important than football, and that the good health of our pack and the general public is one of them. However, we respect the decision of UEFA and the integrity of the competition, and we will travel tomorrow to Greece to play the fixture.

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"We hope that our request to UEFA, and our acceptance of their decision, can act as the catalyst for them to consider alternative options moving forwards, as this will not be the last fixture to be affected by coronavirus."

Earlier this month, Wolves sought to take a pro-active measure against coronavirus by banning players from taking selfies with fans.

Published 11 Mar 2020, 04:58 IST
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