26 Mar, 2020 @ 20:27
1 min read

CORONAVIRUS: Italian mayor claims Valencia Champions League match with Atalanta was a ‘biological bomb’ for Spain and Italy


VALENCIA CF’s match Lombardy based Atalanta, the Italian region at the heart of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak, has been dubbed a ‘biological bomb’.

In a recent Facebook live question and answer session, the Mayor of Bergamo expressed his grave concern over the Champions League fixture.

Some 45,792 fans packed into Milan San Siro in February to see the Spanish side take on Atalanta in the first leg of the quarter finals.

Around 2,500 fans were Spanish.

Since then, Lombardy and Valencia have been labelled ‘coronavirus hotspots’ and authorities have called the tie ‘match zero’ as it is feared it caused the infection of nearly 40,000 people.

The game was held two days before the first recorded case in Italy, weeks before the world knew of the potential seriousness of the outbreak, but the Mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, has called the game a ‘biological bomb’, fearing the game played a huge part in the spreading of the virus.

Some 45,792 fans packed into Milan San Siro in February to see Valencia take on Atalanta in the first leg of the quarter finals

Gori said: “At that time we did not know what was happening. The first patient in Italy was on February 23.

“If the virus was already circulating, the 40,000 fans who were at the San Siro stadium (in Milan) were infected.

“No one knew that the virus was circulating. Many watched the game in groups and there was a lot of contact.”

It is also thought that the game caused the infections of numerous Valencian players including Ezequiel Garay.

Despite the huge number of potential infections, the city’s authorities are not focusing on the match, but are instead looking into a patient being admitted into the Alzano Lombardo hospital with ‘unrecognized pneumonia’ who potentially infected doctors, nurses and other patients.

James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at [email protected] with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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