The two clubs played a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 encounters at the Stadio San Paolo back in February, with Antoine Griezmann’s efforts canceling Dries Mertens’s opener.
Aurelio warns UEFA that the match away to Barca is risky
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has called on UEFA to move the club’s Champions League clash away to Barcelona amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in Spain. The two clubs played a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 encounters at the Stadio San Paolo back in February, with Antoine Griezmann’s efforts canceling Dries Mertens’s opener. The reversible equipment at Camp Nou has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has closed all major leagues across Europe for three months. The Bundesliga returned for the first time in late May, before LaLiga, Serie A, and the Premier League followed suit in June as the continent’s Covid-19 cases began to drop. UEFA also announced that the Champions League would return in August. With a new format that will see quarter-finals and semi-finals played as one-off matches in Lisbon, Portugal.
All UEFA games will be played behind closed doors
However, the remaining round of 16 fixings will still be played on the original grounds, and as its current form. Barça will play host against Napoli on 8 August at the empty Camp Nou. Due to the coronavirus’s ongoing threat, all remaining games in the competition will be played behind closed doors. But concerns remain about the safety of players and staff. Spain’s northeastern Catalonia has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases. So health authorities have instructed people to stay in their homes for 15 days to contain the spread. De Laurentiis believes that Napoli’s meeting with Barça should take place outside Spain due to the increased risk of infection. He told reporters: “The match against Barcelona will always be a great match.
This summer, we played two, then played the third in the first leg of the last 16 in the UEFA Champions League Now we will perform the fourth.
“We hear doubts and concerns emanating from Spain. UEFA is indifferent. No one knows how to manage the shop. If they decided that the Champions League is done in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany. I think we should play the return leg in Portugal or Germany. I don’t understand why we should stay in a city that has serious problems.”