Wolves request to postpone Olympiacos tie over coronavirus fears dismissed


Wolves wanted their Europa League last-16 match against Olympiacos postponed because of concerns with the spread of coronavirus.

The first leg match is set to go ahead without spectators at Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece on Thursday as the country's government attempts to manage their coronavirus issue.

The English club revealed they issued a formal request for UEFA to postpone the match, but were left disappointed by the decision for the contest to go ahead.

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They believe their stakeholders are being put at risk by the governing body's call and cited the fact that Olympiacos' owner Evangelos Marinakis has contracted the virus as one of the challenges.

"Our position is that the trip poses an unnecessary risks to our players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times," a Wolves statement on their website read .

"Our concern is also for our opponents, whose players and staff have today been tested, and will now be expected to play their part in an important fixture, under the difficult and challenging circumstances of their owner suffering with the virus.

"There is also disappointment that the match will be played without home and away supporters, as that is part of what makes European competition so special, as well as the fact our fans have already contended with similar obstacles on our Europa League journey already this season.

"We believe that there are some things that are more important than football, and that the good health of our pack and the general public is one of them. However, we respect the decision of UEFA and the integrity of the competition, and we will travel tomorrow to Greece to play the fixture.

"We hope that our request to UEFA, and our acceptance of their decision, can act as the catalyst for them to consider alternative options moving forwards, as this will not be the last fixture to be affected by coronavirus."

Many football leagues and competitions have been disrupted worldwide by the global health scare with matches being played behind closed doors in many countries as public gatherings are limited.

Italy's Serie A has been postponed indefinitely with the country in total lockdown until at least April 3.

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