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Rangers fans set to miss Europa League return tie as Germany restricts crowds

 

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Rangers' Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen is set to be affected by measures to tackle coronavirus after state authorities in Germany issued a ban on major gatherings.  (stock photo)

Rangers' Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen is set to be affected by measures to tackle coronavirus after state authorities in Germany issued a ban on major gatherings. (stock photo)

Rangers' Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen is set to be affected by measures to tackle coronavirus after state authorities in Germany issued a ban on major gatherings. (stock photo)

Rangers' Europa League clash against Bayer Leverkusen is set to be affected by measures to tackle coronavirus after state authorities in Germany issued a ban on major gatherings.

The North-Rhine Westphalia authority said yesterday that events with more than 1,000 visitors should be cancelled or played behind closed doors.

The decree raises the prospect of Rangers fans being shut out of the second leg of the last-16 tie tomorrow week.

Rangers - who host the Bundesliga side tomorrow - have said their encounter is unaffected but the situation could change "quickly and dramatically".

North-Rhine Westphalia is the worst-affected region of Germany with more than 500 confirmed cases and the country's first two deaths.

Speaking about the second leg, a Rangers statement read: "The club is in continuous dialogue with Bayer Leverkusen and the authorities over this upcoming fixture.

"The current situation is that the match will proceed as planned with supporters attending the game but this could change quickly and dramatically in the coming days. Direction will have to be taken from the German authorities.

"We appreciate the uncertainty this situation will be causing for our travelling fan base and the club will endeavour to update supporters at every available opportunity."

The Italian football federation (FIGC) have said that the Serie A season may not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement confirmed that Serie A would stop until 3 April following a government decree issued on Monday.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina also put forward alternative options if the season can not be concluded.

They include staging play-offs, not having a champion for 2019-20 or declaring the current standings final.

Play-offs would take place to determine the league champions, European qualification and the three clubs to be relegated to Serie B.

But if the title winner is decided by the current standings then Juventus would be Italian champions for a ninth straight season, having gone back above Lazio with a 2-0 win over third-placed Inter Milan on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph