Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Napoli WILL take place at the Nou Camp despite Aurelio De Laurentiis demanding the game be moved to Portugal… as Catalan government insist the situation is ‘better’ after coronavirus scare
- Barcelona’s Champions League tie with Napoli will be played at the Nou Camp
- Catalonia has experienced the worst increase in coronavirus cases in Spain
- Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis called for the game to be moved to Portugal
- But the region’s Public Health Secretary insisted the situation had improved
Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Napoli will be played at the Nou Camp after the Catalonia government confirmed it was safe for the match to take place.
The region has experienced the worst incidence of Covid-19 cases in Spain since the lifting of the national lockdown last month, with a daily increase of 944 cases reported at the end of July.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis last week called for the last-16 game to be moved to Portugal for safety reasons, describing the situation in the region as ‘critical’.
Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Napoli will take place at the Nou Camp on Saturday
The Catalan government insisted the situation was better after an increase in Covid-19 cases
He said: ‘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?”
‘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 round of 16.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had called for the game to be moved to Portugal
‘I don’t understand why it should stay in a city that has a really critical situation.’
But Catalonia’s Public Health Secretary Josep Maria Argimon insisted the situation was ‘better’.
‘It is able to be played as scheduled,’ Argimon told Catalan radio station RAC1 as quoted by Diario Sport.
‘The situation this week is better than it was last week.
‘The match can go ahead as it will be behind closed doors and we are following UEFA’s protocols, which are very strict. There will be a limit of 350 people in the stadium.’
The country’s infection rate continues to rise with 5,000 new cases reported on Wednesday
However, the country’s coronavirus infection rate is continuing to soar with 5,000 new cases reported on Wednesday.
The British government brought back its 14-day quarantine for travellers coming to the UK from Spain following the spike in cases after 10 people tested positive upon their return.
The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to the country and Spanish officials have also warned a second wave could be imminent.
But the match as got the all clear to go ahead with the winners set to face Bayern Munich or Chelsea in the quarter finals.
The first encounter between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw with Barca’s Antoine Griezmann cancelling out Dries Merten’s opening goal.
The second leg will take place on Friday but Arturo Vidal will be missing for the home side after picking up a late red card in Naples.
Dries Mertens gave Napoli the lead in the first leg before Antoine Griezmann levelled the score
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