Rangers vs Leverkusen - Gerrard happy to take medical advice amid calls to suspend Europa League

Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020 by PA

Rangers vs Leverkusen - Gerrard happy to take medical advice amid calls to suspend Europa League

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard believes the club should continue to follow medical advice amid calls for the Europa League to be suspended, including from the manager of opponents Bayer Leverkusen.

The Bundesliga side have announced next week’s return fixture in Rhineland will be closed off to fans as German authorities seek to combat the spread of the virus.

Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz has also called for the Europa League to be put on hold until the coronavirus panic passes after claiming the competition is being devalued by closed-door clashes.

Gerrard said: “It will only become a worry for us if our own medical people who we trust in this situation tell us that it’s going to be a worry or a concern. That isn’t the case as of yet.

“We will just follow the instructions as we’re told by UEFA and our own medical team and we’ll do what we have to do. I think it’s a concern and a worry for everyone worldwide.

“I have got the same concerns in this situation. It seems as if it’s growing and growing. We’ll have to take it day by day. We have a fantastic medical team in place and we’ll trust UEFA entirely in terms of the protocol we have to follow.”

Gerrard is disappointed that his club’s followers will not be able to make the journey to Germany. Around 5,000 fans were hoping to cheer their side on to a place in the quarter-finals at the BayArena but will now have to watch on from home.

“I’m not delighted about it, that’s for sure,” said the Ibrox boss.

“Football is all about atmospheres and supporters and people getting the opportunity to go follow their team, especially when you’re at this stage of a competition.”

Former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund coach Bosz knows there is no easy solution but the Dutchman was clear when he insisted playing games in empty stadiums is not the way to go.

He said: “Absolutely it’s advantage Rangers but they are not to blame because they haven’t decided it.

“I’m looking forward to playing here – but when you play in front of home fans they are for you and that’s an advantage if we, in turn, are playing in front of an empty stadium.

“To be honest, the competition has been devalued. Fans should be there. No one is to blame, but it is strange.

“What is happening in Europe at the moment is strange and next Monday (against Werder Bremen) we will play without fans which is something we shouldn’t do as we play for the fans as professional soccer players and they are not allowed to be there.”

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