Players in the Ludogorets squad wore face masks and protective gloves on Wednesday as they arrived in Milan to face Inter in the Europa League.
The coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy has affected the sporting calendar and Ludogorets players were taking no chances upon their arrival in the city ahead of the last-32 second-leg tomorrow.
Furthermore, club fitness coach Ivan Diaz Infantes was not happy with how the virus had altered the preparation of the side, saying he has ‘never seen anything like it.’
‘This has transformed our plans because we were supposed to stay in Milan for two nights, arriving the day before and then leaving the day after,’ he told Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
‘Instead, we are now leaving Milan straight after the match. During our stay, we have been asked to stay in our hotel rooms for as long as possible, to step outside just to eat, and try not to interact with the hotel staff.
‘It’s going to be a great game in a wonderful stadium, even if it’s empty.’
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte postponed four Serie A fixtures at the weekend after the killer bug surfaced in different areas of the country.
Five matches this weekend will also take place behind-closed-doors at the request of the Italian government, in order to protect public health.
Juventus’ clash against Inter on Sunday in Turin, a crucial game in the Serie A title race, is one such game which will be played without spectators.
Inter hold a 2-0 lead heading into the second-leg on Thursday at the San Siro, which will be played behind-closed-doors due to the outbreak.
‘It’s going to be a great game in a wonderful stadium, even if it’s empty,’ Infantes continued.
‘The first leg was more even than the result would suggest and we’ll give our all. If we should reach the final stages with a one-goal lead, anything could happen.’
Matches at Udinese, AC Milan, Parma and Sassuolo will also go ahead without legions of supporters this weekend.
Fears of the virus spreading, which started in the Wuhan region in China and has spread all over the world, is why precautions are being taken by sporting authorities.
Latest statistics show that there have been 322 cases and 11 deaths from coronavirus in Italy, the most in Europe by some distance.