Coronavirus: Flares lit outdoor enviornment as soccer fit performed at the back of closed doorways | International Information

Thousands of football fans have protested outside a stadium as their team played a Champions League match behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.

Around 3,000 Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) supporters massed outside the Parc des Princes while the French champions took on Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their last 16 tie.

The night sky filled with smoke as they lit flares and fireworks and cheered on their team – some carrying banners protesting against a French government ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Fans protested outside PSG's stadium, lighting flares and fireworks
Fans protested outside PSG’s stadium, lighting flares and fireworks

They were allowed to place three banners inside the stadium, the largest of which read: “Our Only Virus is PSG.”

Pictures of the fans chanting and singing outside the ground were shown on the giant screen inside the stadium so players could see the level of support outside.

Sky’s Adam Parsons, who was at the scene, said: “You don’t have to be a maths genius to know there are thousands upon thousands here and there’s huge numbers of fireworks and flares putting filling the air with smoke.

“Some fans are wearing paper suits, like a hazmat suit as a form of protest at being kept out. There’s a banner saying ‘we are the virus’.”

He explained that that is a symbolic message as “people here think France and Paris have had a particularly hard time of it”.

France has now recorded 2,281 cases of the coronavirus with 48 people having died since the outbreak began. That is a jump of almost 500 cases and 15 deaths from Tuesday, according to figures from the French health ministry.

There are 105 people in intensive care.

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The match is one of many sporting events affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with football and rugby matches across Europe either played behind closed doors or postponed, as well as games in other sports.

On Tuesday, Valencia fans massed outside the Mestella as their team played Atalanta in the Champions League.

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