Flu Epidemic Could See Dynamo-Inter Game Played In Empty Stadium

KIEV, Ukraine -- City hall officials in the Ukrainian capital Kiev are considering banning fan attendance to an upcoming Champions League match because of a flu epidemic in the country.

Fans of soccer club Dynamo Kiev wear protective masks to protect themselves against flu at Lobanovsky's stadium.

Ukraine's government on Friday banned substantial public gatherings such as political conventions and rock concerts in an attempt to limit the expansion of a flu epidemic currently centred in the west of the country.

Ukraine's professional sports leagues generally ignored the ban over the weekend.

Kiev mayor Leonid Chernovetsky at a Monday city hall meeting said the match between Dynamo Kiev and Inter Milan scheduled for Wednesday might nonetheless have to be played in an empty stadium, in order to stay in keeping with the ban, and to protect the health of the general public.

"It would be better not to violate the ban (and allow fans attend the game)," Chernovetsky said. "They can watch it on television at home...it will be for their own good."

Dynamo Kiev officials told the Interfax news agency the game would go forward as normal, and that tickets were already almost sold out for the tie involving the two Group F sides.

"Tickets are still on sale," said Mykola Neseniuk, a Dynamo spokesman. "Fans can still buy them."

Fans might be issued with anti-infection masks upon entering the stadium, Neseniuk said.

Ukraine's government currently is battling the country's worst flu epidemic in years, with more than 60 dead and some victims dying of the dangerous swine flu strain.

The public gathering ban issued by the Ukrainian government currently is effective until November 22, making possible complications for the World Cup playoff game between Ukraine and Greece on November 14.

Source: Times LIVE


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