LONDON: Public health authorities are to investigate a potential link between a Champions League football match in Liverpool and a potential coronavirus rise in the city. The mayor, Joe Anderson, has commissioned the city’s new public health director, Matthew Ashton, to see if there is any connection after a number of deaths were blamed on the 11 March match between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid. The match was attended by 52,000 people, including 3,000 from Madrid, at a time when Spain was already in partial lockdown.
Anderson said: “I have asked Matt Ashton and his team to conduct a full investigation into any potential link between that match and the situation with coronavirus in the city. “We want to come to a view as to whether that decision had an impact on the people of this city and I’ve asked Matt to work with the universities to see if the data can give us an indication of that.”
Ashton told the Guardian earlier this month the match should not have gone ahead but said bad decisions were not intentional. “Although we will never know, the Atlético Madrid game could have been one of the cultural events and gatherings that influenced the rise in Liverpool. It is definitely one to be included on the list for learning and for a future inquiry, so that organisations can learn and not make similar mistakes. —Agencies