Napoli president concerned about playing in Barcelona

Napoli is set to play its Champions League round of 16 second leg in Barcelona which has president Aurelio De Laurentiis concerned due to the threat of coronavirus.

Napoli vs Sassuolo

The Champions League round of 16 tie between Napoli and Barcelona poised at 1-1 ahead of the second leg.   -  AP

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has said he is concerned about his side having to travel to Spain for its Champions League clash against Barcelona amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

UEFA confirmed this month that the remaining Champions League and Europa League round of 16 second-leg ties that were postponed because of COVID-19 in March would be played in the stadiums of the home teams.

The final stages of the Champions League, from the quarter-finals onwards, will be played as a mini-tournament in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany.

“I hear a lot of perplexity and fear coming from Spain and they're acting like nothing is wrong. What does it take to say, 'Don't go to Barcelona but rather go to Portugal, Germany or Geneva?'” the Guardian quoted De Laurentiis as saying.

Champions League draw: When, where to watch and all you need to know  

“If they've decided to play the Champions League in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany, I think we can go to Portugal or Germany for the last 16. I don't understand why it should stay in a city that has a really critical situation.”

Napoli's last-16 tie with Barcelona is poised at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou on Aug. 8.

There has been a surge in COVID-19 positives in Spain with thousands of new cases reported on a daily basis, taking the country's total tally to over 303,000 cases.

Players from Sevilla, Real Madrid and Almeria tested positive for the virus this week.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos