OSLO, Norway (AP) – The Norwegian national football team will play its “home” World Cup qualifier next month in neutral Spain due to travel restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Norwegian Football Federation announced on Tuesday that the match against Turkey on March 27 will be held in Malaga instead of Oslo. No fans will be allowed to attend.
Norway will start the World Cup qualifier with a match in Ibraltar on March 24, three days before leaving for Spain to play Turkey. The Netherlands is also in the group.
The change of place is the first in the European qualification, which is forced by the rules of travel quarantine.
Only four matches of the qualifying round of the World Cup are taking place in Asia next month. Only eight of the 40 teams involved. The rest of the program was postponed to June due to current health protocols.
In the wake of the epidemic, FIFA has extended exemptions from mandatory release rules so that players around the world can be denied permission by their clubs to join national teams.
Norwegian club Molde hosted a Europa League home game in Spain last week against Hoffenheim in Villarreal. The Spanish Football Federation had to approve both changes.
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