Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 31 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Liverpool v Atletico Madrid Champions League match linked to '41 additional' coronavirus deaths

Around 52,000 fans at Anfield on Mrch 11 - 3,000 of them Atleti supporters

Liverpool's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid in March go ahead may have "led to 41 additional deaths" due to the coronavirus, according to a report.

Around 52,000 fans - with some 3,000 Atleti supporters - flew in for the match at Anfield on March 11 to see the Spanish side beat Liverpool to advance to the quarter-finals 4-2 on aggregate.

The match was the last major football fixture played in England before the coronavirus lockdown.

According to the Sunday Times, Edge Health, which analyses data for Britain's National Health Service, estimated the match was "linked to 41 additional deaths" at nearby hospitals between 25 and 35 days later, compared with similar hospital trusts that were used as a control.

Imperial College London and Oxford University have estimated Spain had around 640,000 positive coronavirus cases at the time that the match went ahead compared to 100,000 in Britain.

Last month one of the mayors for Liverpool called for an investigation into why the Atletico match was allowed to proceed as scheduled.

"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," Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, told the BBC.

"That needs to be investigated to find out whether some of those infections are due directly to the Atletico fans. There were coronavirus hot cities, and Madrid was one of those."

A ban on spectators is expected when football resumes in Britain, with the Premier League looking to restart next month.

The UK has reported more than 36,000 deaths during the pandemic - the worst tally in Europe and second only to the United States.

Updated: May 24, 2020 10:40 PM

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