Wednesday February 26 2020
Conte: 'Empty stadiums aren't beautiful'

Inter boss Antonio Conte says playing the Derby d’Italia in an empty stadium “isn’t nice” but that “we refer to the decisions that were made for health reasons.”

It’s been a controversial week in the Italian game, with games in the northern part of the country cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus.

Inter’s Sunday night game against Sampdoria was postponed, and their Thursday evening Europa League clash against Ludogrets will be played behind closed doors, as will the Derby d’Italia against Juventus this Sunday.

Conte spoke to Sky Sport Italia and remarks that the correct decision was made.

“I think that playing behind closed doors is not beautiful, football needs the public and to feel the whole atmosphere around it, it’s the most beautiful thing,” Conte told the channel.

“Having said that, we refer to the decisions made for health reasons, but I hope that first everything returns to normal.”

Inter face Ludogrets tomorrow behind closed doors, and Conte says his side must treat the game as if it were 0-0.

“We need to secure qualification, which is the most important thing. We know that all games hide some difficulties.

“We start from a good result in the first leg but we know the game begins at 0-0 and we have to produce a good performance, and have the desire to win.”

The Nerazzurri now have a very compact schedule, with Juventus on Sunday and the Coppa Italia semi final second leg against Napoli next week.

“We have a very busy period, the fact that the match with Sampdoria was postponed has changed the situation a bit. We had trained to prepare for this cycle of matches, only at the end will we see where we are.”

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