Empty stadiums because of the COVID-19 outbreak
Numerous football matches in several Asian and European countries will be played without spectators because of the COVID-19 outbreak, which started in China. Coronavirus cases have been reported in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America. In January 2020, the first match without an audience because of the COVID-19 outbreak was played in China. The match, which took place in Shanghai, was won by SIPG after defeating Buriram United from Thailand 3-0. Players from both teams were arriving wearing face masks.
The Italian Republic currently is the European country with the most COVID-19 cases. All major Italian sports events will be played without spectators until 3 April 2020. The UEFA Europa League match between the Italian side Internazionale and the Bulgarian side Ludogorets was the first European match which was played without an audience because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The game, which took place in Milan, ended in a 2-1 victory for the home side. Japan, Korea, Poland, the Swiss Confederation and Vietnam also announced to host major sports events without fans to limit the spread of the COVID-19 cases.