Pep Guardiola Admits He Would Rather Postpone Games Than Play in Empty Stadiums

With Liverpool on the brink of securing their first Premier League title, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hinted at a belief that matches should be delayed amid coronavirus fears.

Serie A has been suspended for the remainder of the month, with Italy especially badly hit by the virus, while other countries are mandating that matches be played behind closed doors. Speaking this week, with his side's midweek game against Arsenal postponed, Guardiola insisted that fans be central when considering any potential actions. 

Speaking to ​Sky Sports, the Catalan said: "It has happened already in Italy, the league is suspended and in Spain, where the games are behind closed doors," adding "I think it's going to happen here."

The Premier League fixture scheduled for Wednesday evening between Manchester City and Arsenal has been postponed, with one Gunners player shaking hands with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis when those two sides met – only for Marinakis to later test positive for the virus.

The ​Man City manager spoke about the fans' involvement, adding: "We have to ask if it works to play football without spectators. If the people do not come to watch the games there is no sense, I wouldn't like to play in the Champions League, Premier League, cups, without people.

"We are here for the people. One game, two games, maybe, but not longer. We do it for the people. I would not love to play without people in the stadium."

Valencia CF v Atalanta - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

Closed-door matches are steadily increasing as authorities continue to work out how to deal with the coronavirus illness. 

​Manchester United's Europa League fixture against Austrian side LASK will take place without fans, as will Wolves' clash against Greek side Olympiakos – Marinakis' other team – after UEFA rejected their request to postpone the match. 

Source : 90min