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Bosnian FA insist Euro 2020 playoff game with Northern Ireland will NOT be played behind closed doors

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Northern Ireland and Bosnia & Herzegovinia are due to go head-to-head in Zenica on March 26

Northern Ireland and Bosnia & Herzegovinia are due to go head-to-head in Zenica on March 26

Northern Ireland and Bosnia & Herzegovinia are due to go head-to-head in Zenica on March 26

The Bosnian FA have insisted that this month's Euro 2020 play-off match with Northern Ireland will proceed as planned and will not be affected by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.

There were fears that the game could be played behind closed doors or even postponed after the country's first confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain in Banka Luka, which is around 100km from Zenica, where the game is due to be played on March 26.

However, despite these concerns, a Bosnian FA executive committee met in Sarajevo today and determined that their stance of the game would not change and that the match will proceed as scheduled.

According to Bosnian sports journalist Haris Mrkonja on Twitter: "(The) Bosnian FA did not talk about scenarios in case of a wider spread of #COVIDー19 in today's assembly. They stand by the previous statement to follow instructions from UEFA and authorities.

In a follow-up tweet, Mrkonja added: "Still no risk of the match being played behind closed doors, or being cancelled altogether."

While this is good news for now for Northern Ireland fans, the situation could change if the outbreak becomes more serious in Bosnia and the local FA are forced to re-evaluate their position.

One more case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Banka Luka on Friday afternoon, bringing the country's confirmed cases to three, and Bosnian health minister Alen Seranic explained in a statement on Thursday that more cases are expected.

A large proportion of Bosnian nationals commute to work across the Adriatic Sea in Italy, where over 3,000 cases have been confirmed.

However, a spokesperson from the Bosnian FA reiterated that as long as UEFA and local authorities are not concerned about the outbreak, which they are not at this stage, then Northern Ireland fans should not be either.

Belfast Telegraph