Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis does not understand why Napoli must play the return against FC Barcelona in the eighth finals of the Champions League next week in Barcelona next week. In that region, the coronavirus flares up again and measures are tightened.
Napoli and FC Barcelona played the first game of the diptych at the end of February with a 1-1 draw, after which the season came to a halt for months due to the corona crisis. Saturday, August 8, the return is finally scheduled in Camp Nou, but De Laurentiis sees that because of the significant increase in corona infections in Barcelona, this is not an option.
"I hear a lot of confusion and fearful noises coming from Spain, but UEFA is pretending nothing is wrong," said the Napoli president at Italian media. "I find it incomprehensible that the return is still planned in a city where the situation surrounding the coronavirus is critical."
UEFA decided last month to finish the Champions League in August in an adapted format with a tournament in Lisbon. However, the European Football Association chose to have the remaining returns in the eighth finals still be completed in the countries of the home playing clubs.
"What does it take to say: don't go to Barcelona, but let's finish that return in Portugal, Germany or Geneva?" De Laurentiis wonders aloud. "If UEFA would like to finish the Champions League and the Europa League in Portugal and Germany, we can also play the return there."
FC Barcelona-Napoli is one of the four returns to be played in the eighth finals of the Champions League. The other three are Juventus-Olympique Lyon, Manchester City-Real Madrid and Bayern Munich-Chelsea.
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