Spain: Games against Italian teams to be played without fans

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MADRID — Spanish authorities said Tuesday that major soccer games involving Italian teams will be played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus outbreak, including the second leg between Valencia and Atalanta in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

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Spain’s Health Ministry said the Europa League game between Getafe and Inter Milan in southern Madrid on March 19 will also be played without fans. The first leg will be on March 12 in Italy.

The Valencia match against Atalanta will be played at Mestalla Stadium on March 10. Atalanta won the first leg 4-1 in Italy.

A Spanish journalist who regularly covers Valencia was believed to have been infected with the virus during the trip to Italy for the first leg.

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The club eventually suspended all media access to its coaches and players, keeping them from speaking to journalists in news conferences and mixed zones before and after matches.

A couple of basketball games between Spanish and Italian clubs this month also will be played in empty venues.