Women's Sport: Italy pull out of Algarve Cup final against Germany due to Coronavirus concerns

Italy v Malta- UEFA Women's Euro 2021 Qualifier

The 2020 Algarve Cup final between Italy and Germany on Wednesday evening has been cancelled due to fears of Coronavirus and its potential effect on travel.

Italy's women's team have chosen to pull out of the final and will be flying home on Wednesday to avoid potentially being stranded in Portugal.

On Tuesday night, the Italian Football Federation was hopeful the women's team would be able to play the final.

The competition, which was created by the Portuguese Football Federation in 1994, initially starts with 12 teams, before eight go on to fight for the cup.

Le Azzurre booked a private flight to keep their players as relaxed as possible over potential travel problems.

However, they changed their minds about competing in the final based on fears of potential flight problems due to coronavirus. 

The government of Portugal's neighbouring country Spain stopped flights on Tuesday from Italy to Spain until March 25.

“The situation is no charter company can guarantee more than the day of tomorrow to bring them back directly,” Ludovica Mantovani, the president of the women’s division at the Italian Football Federation, told Telegraph Sport.

“Because of what happened in Spain today, it’s not now blocked in Portugal - but nobody can guarantee more than tomorrow morning because the flight schedules are all changing day by day. They’re flying back tomorrow morning for that reason, because nobody can guarantee us.

“The girls wanted to play and the head coach wanted to play, but we needed to guarantee them coming back home. It’s a decision that has been taken for the health of everybody - for them being secure and home.

"The players have to be in the best condition that nothing happens to them and their families - that’s the priority right now."

In Italy, they have suspended all sporting events until April 3 because of the virus.

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