After reassessing the situation, the City of Wolfsburg and VfL Wolfsburg came to the joint decision on Tuesday that the club’s Europa League round of 16 first leg against Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk this coming Thursday should be played behind closed doors. The reasons for this decision are the rapid development of the current situation, yesterday’s recommendations from the regional health authorities and the significant continued spread of coronavirus throughout Germany. Furthermore, the decision is in accordance with the clear guidance from the State of Lower Saxony that major events such as football matches should take place without spectators until further notice.
“We regret having to take this decision, but welfare is our greatest priority and we need to act in the best interests of all involved,” said VfL Managing Director Dr Tim Schumacher. “We had to weigh up whether to play with no fans allowed and what was the best possible way of protecting the general health, and we took the joint decision based on the potential consequences for those who would have attended the match in the stadium,” added Monika Müller, Head of Sport and Health for the City of Wolfsburg. “I would like to thank the fans, who will no doubt be disappointed, for understanding the decision, and VfL for working together with us and also for the responsibility that they have taken.”
Tickets that have already been purchased for this match will be reimbursed by VfL Wolfsburg, with the club providing further details on this in the near future.