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Man City vs. Real Madrid, Juventus vs. Lyon Matches Postponed Amid Coronavirus

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

(Top Row L-R) Kyle Walker of Manchester City, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson, Rodri of Manchester City, Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City, Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City, Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City 

(Front row L-R) Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City, Bernardo Silva of Manchester City, Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on February 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
ANP Sport/Getty Images

Manchester City and UEFA have agreed to postpone the club's second-leg match against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. 

The Citizens had a 2-1 lead after the first leg thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne, with the return fixture originally scheduled for Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.

City confirmed the news on the club's official website and revealed the decision was taken after "confirmation that players from Real Madrid will self-isolate for fifteen days, after it emerged that a player from the club’s basketball team tested positive for COVID-19."

Real and the rest of La Liga have seen matches suspended for at least the next two weeks, per BBC Sport.

It's part of a growing response from European football to the spread of the coronavirus, an outbreak now classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, per Donald G. McNeil Jr. of The New York Times.

Tuesday's scheduled Champions League last-16 second leg between Juventus vs. Lyon has also been postponed, with the latter 1-0 up after the first meeting.

UEFA @UEFA

Following the quarantine imposed on players of Juventus and Real Madrid, the following #UCL matches will not take place as scheduled. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Manchester City – Real Madrid 🇪🇸 🇮🇹 Juventus – Olympique Lyonnais 🇫🇷 Further decisions on the matches will be communicated in due course.

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Juve centre-back Daniele Rugani tested positive for the coronavirus but tweeted he is "fine" (h/t Joe Tanner of Sky Sports).

City sent "best wishes to the players and staff at Real Madrid's football and basketball teams." The club also promised any details about rescheduling or ticketing would be released.

It marks the second time in a matter of days City have had a game postponed. Wednesday's home fixture against Arsenal, the Citizens' game in hand in the Premier League, was called off.

The Gunners had previously hosted Olympiacos in the second leg of the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis had contracted COVID-19, so England's top flight adhered to government guidelines and postponed the fixture, per Arsenal's official website.

The steps taken by European football's governing body and others are the latest in a series of measures taken by sports authorities across the continent. Matches in Italy's Serie A have been halted until April 3, while matches will be played behind closed doors in France's Ligue 1 until April 15.

Over 118,000 people have been infected with the virus, according to CNN.

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