The city council of Liverpool has announced it will investigate Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid at Anfield for any potential impact it had on the coronavirus crisis.
The March 11 fixture was the last major football game to be played in England before the coronavirus shutdown, with 52,000 fans turning up at Anfield including 3,000 traveling supporters from Madrid.
Many called for the game to be postponed with Madrid already in a partial lockdown at the time, but it went ahead with the visitors prevailing in the last-16 second-leg tie.
“Liverpool City Council, alongside partners at the University of Liverpool and John Moores University, have agreed to explore any impact of Covid-19 as a result of the Atletico Madrid match at Anfield on 11 March,” a statement read.
“Liverpool City Council’s public health team, alongside partners, is currently assessing the size and scope of the project. As the city’s current focus is very much on dealing with the pandemic, no timescale or date has yet been set for the completion of the work and when it will be reported.”
The announcement came one day after the mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram called for an inquiry, saying the match should have never gone ahead.
“If people have contracted coronavirus as a direct result of a sporting event that we believe shouldn’t have taken place, well that is scandalous,” Rotheram told BBC Sport.
“That’s put not just those people in danger, but those frontline staff in the NHS and others in their own families that may have contracted it.”
The impact of Champions League matches on the coronavirus pandemic in Europe has already been demonstrated by Atalanta’s February win over Valencia, a game that’s now being called ‘Partita Zero’ (Game Zero), and a “biological bomb.”
Source: News update