PEP GUARDIOLA believes it makes ‘no sense’ to play behind closed doors and would rather have games suspended.
Chelsea’s Champions League last-16, second-leg tie at Bayern Munich next week will take place without fans amid the outbreak of coronavirus. Tonight’s clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund will also take place behind closed doors with countries such as France taking decisive action.
A number of Europa League games tomorrow will be played without supporters, including Manchester United’s clash with LASK in Austria. The likelihood of that happening in Britain is growing, and Manchester City boss Guardiola, speaking ahead of tonight’s league game with Arsenal, feels it is inevitable at some point.
Guardiola said: ‘We are conscious of it because it has happened already in Italy. The league is suspended and in Spain the next two weeks are behind closed doors. It is going to happen here.
‘The other issue you have to ask is, is it worse to play football without fans? We do our job for the people and if they cannot come to watch us, there is no sense. I would not love to play matches in the Premier League or Champions League or cups without the people.
‘If without people, I would prefer not to play, definitely. Of course if it is for one or two games, I could understand but if it is longer, there is no sense. But when Uefa or the government say you have to play without spectators, we are going to play without spectators.’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he is unsure how useful it is to play behind closed doors. Klopp’s men face Atletico Madrid at Anfield tonight and he said: ‘There are things that are more important than football. What we need is time to find a solution for that. How can we win that time?
‘I don’t know enough about how much it would help with (closing off) games. We play football but we cannot stop it (the spread of the virus).’
Uefa, meanwhile, insist they have not received any requests to postpone Euro 2020 due to the virus outbreak.