March 10 (Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers' request to European soccer's governing body UEFA to have Thursday's Europa League last-16, first leg at Olympiakos Piraeus postponed due to the threat of coronavirus has been rejected, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.
Wolves issued a statement https://www.wolves.co.uk/news/club/20200310-club-statement-olympiacos-fixture saying the trip posed unnecessary risks to their "players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times".
The English Premier League club added that they respected UEFA's decision and would travel to Greece for the fixture.
The game will be played without fans after the Greek government enforced a temporary suspension of spectators attending sporting events to limit the spread of the virus.
"We believe that there are some things that are more important than football, and that the good health of our pack (staff) and the general public is one of them," Wolves said.
Evangelos Marinakis, the owner of Olympiakos as well as English Championship (second-tier) club Nottingham Forest, said on Tuesday he had contracted the coronavirus.
The virus has infected well over 100,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000. Greece has several dozen cases but no fatality so far.
(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris)