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MAN CITY BOSS, PEP GUARDIOLA EXPECTS PREMIERSHIP TO BE HIT BY CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes football matches in England will soon have to be played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus outbreak, but he would prefer the games to be postponed.

Fans across Europe have been barred from attending matches and Guardiola said it was only a matter of time before games in England were affected.

“It happens already in Italy, the league is suspended and in Spain the games behind closed doors,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday (March 10).

“I think it’s going to happen here.

“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.”

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The Spaniard said City would follow instructions from the authorities.

“We are here for the people. One games, two games, maybe, but not longer,” he said.

“We do it for the people. I would not love to play without people in the stadium.”

City, who are second in the Premier League table, host ninth-placed Arsenal on Wednesday.

German winger Leroy Sane is available for selection after a long-term knee injury but playmaker Kevin de Bruyne (shoulder) and centre-back Aymeric Laporte (hamstring) are doubtful.

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-REUTERS

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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