A 'biological bomb' - Atalanta v Valencia, the game that should never have happened

The Champions League clash at San Siro looks likely to have been a huge spreader of the disease in Northern Italy

6:36pm on Wednesday 25th March 2020
Paul Macdonald • PAULMACDFC

Giorgio Gori, the mayor of Bergamo, has said that the Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia earlier this month was the equivalent of a 'biological bomb'.

In an interview via Facebook, Gori said that the Italian government still did not know the extent of the coronavirus epidemic when they allowed the mathc to take place at San Siro in Milan, 80 miles from Atalanta's home ground in Bergamo.

Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries with the death toll approaching 7,000, and Gori believes that that fixture, given all Atalanta fans had to travel en masse to Milan for the match, proved to be a significant mistake.

He said: "The party was a biological bomb."

"At that time we did not know what was happening. The first patient in Italy was on 23 February. If the virus was already circulating, the 40,000 fans who went to the San Siro stadium were infected.

"No one knew that the virus was already circulating among us. Many watched the game in groups and there were many contacts that night. The virus passed from one to the other."

In Valencia, 35% of the first team squad contracted the virus in the aftermath of that match, including first-team players Ezequiel Garay, Jose Gaya and Eliaquim Mangala.

Latest news

Lionel Messi

'Messicide' - the aftermath of the tackle that almost ended Lionel Messi's career

It's nearly 10 years since the Argentine's ankle folded in on itself and football fans drew a deep breath

  • 12 hours
  • 18 hours

Werner, Mbappe, Muller - which players will miss their 19/20 stats the most?

If the season were to go unfinished, these players will be ruing their elite numbers being wiped from the record

  • 19 hours

Most read

Other interesting players

  1. image description Josip Iličić F, AM (C)
    Atalanta 99
  2. image description Cristiano Ronaldo F (C), W (L)
    Juventus 99
  3. Lazio 91
  4. image description Paulo Dybala S, AM (C)
    Juventus 90
  5. Inter 90
  6. Sassuolo 89
  7. image description Fabián Ruiz M, DM (C)
    Napoli 88
  8. Parma 88
  9. Atalanta 88
  10. Napoli 88