Real Betis and Sevilla have both asked their fans to watch Thursday night’s Seville derby at home and not congregate in areas in the city.
La Liga returns to action with the highly-anticipated fixture at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium, while the derby matches are usually marked by large groups of fans gathering in areas throughout the city.
However, all matches in Spain will be played behind closed doors due to social distancing measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As outlined in a report by Diario Sport, figures from both clubs have pleaded with their fans to show their support from home via social media channels and by hanging flags and scarves from their balconies.
Real Betis put on their social media feed: “On Thursday, stay at home and don’t go to the team hotel to cheer our players. Let’s avoid the crowds.”
A statement from the club’s association of Peñas added: “There is a high risk of massive contagion from coronavirus that could lead to a concentration of fans of this magnitude.
“Let’s be smart and we play this derby from home, cheer on social networks and experience it through television or radio and what we should do is tint the streets green, placing the Real Betis flag visible on your balcony or window.”
Sevilla president Jose Castro said: “The most footballing city in Spain must lie up to the occasion. It (avoiding crowds) is something that worries and concerns us.”
The Seville derby is arguably the most intense and passionate match in Spanish football with stadiums sold out for the meeting between the rivals of Andalusia’s capital.