Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almedia bashed the decision to allow the Champions League fixture between Liverpool and Ateltico Madrid to take place last month.
At the time of the game, restrictions were already in place in the Spanish capital – bizarrely, Spaniards couldn’t attend games in their country, because of COVID-19 concerns, but were free to travel to England.
The mayor of Madrid has been critical of the decision to allow this, saying it was a mistake and put the people of Liverpool at risk. “It didn’t make any sense that 3,000 Atletico fans could travel to Anfield at that time,” Martinez-Almedia told Onda Cero radio (via the Mirror). “It was a mistake.
“From the day before the game the regional government and Madrid council had already adopted important measures on reducing large gatherings of people.”
Atletico’s win at Anfield was the last major fixture to take place before a wide suspension on football in Europe, and the Madrid mayor’s concern that it going ahead would cause more harm than good is absolutely spot on.
Spain, and more specifically Madrid, was going through a boom in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and the decision to allow the fixture to go ahead was wrong.
Ahead of kick-off, I Tweeted that the game should have been taken behind closed doors and Spaniards should have been told not to travel. I now believe it would have been best to postpone the fixture indefinitely.
— Ste Carson (@sjrcarson) March 11, 2020
The decision to play the game anyway, and allow residents of Madrid to travel, put the City of Liverpool at serious risk and it was not a risk worth taking.
We are now seeing the number of COVID-19 cases continually rise in the UK and who knows where’d we’d be if the powers that be had taken action sooner – and I don’t just mean on the football.