IN the light of what the British public now know about the coronavirus, questions are being asked about how 3,000 Madrid fans were allowed to travel to Anfield for the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid two weeks ago. This was the last game in England before the footballing authorities took the decision to suspend all matches. At that time (and still) Madrid was very much the Spanish epicentre for the virus, schools across Spain had been closed the day before and La Liga had suspended all matches while Madrid was shortly to enter lockdown. Amidst this disturbing background, the 3,000 Atletico fans travelled to mingle with 51,000 Liverpool fans before and after the game, where local pubs and public transport were “packed.”
The UK government stance at that time had allegedly been the now largely debunked “herd immunity” theory whereby as many people as possible caught the virus with the vast majority shaking it off. This was quickly debunked, and the government stance altered but Liverpudlians are worried they may have been seen as a petri dish for spreading the virus as soon as possible. Dan Wakefield, a 33-year-old Liverpool fan who suffers from spinal muscular dystrophy said “it leaves me particularly vulnerable to this virus. I thought it was appalling that those Madrid supporters were allowed to come to the city, mix in the pubs, restaurants, hotels and on public transport, potentially transmitting the virus to lots of people when their own city was becoming a major European hotspot.” The government changed its short lived herd immunity stance after scientists said Covid-19 could kill hundreds of thousands if left to spread unchecked.