Bergamo mayor Giorgio Gori claimed that the Champions League fixture between Atalanta and Valencia infected over 40000 fans attending the game.
The City’s club Atalanta played their Champions League last 16 home leg against Valencia at the San Siro and Gori said that over 40,000 spectators were infected in the match which he called a ‘biological bomb’. Speaking to Marca, he said: “The match was a biological bomb. At that time we did not know what was happening. If the virus was already circulating, the 40,000 fans who went to San Siro were infected.
“No one knew that the virus was already circulating among us. Many watched the game in groups and there were lots of contact [between fans] that night. The virus passed from one person to another.”
An Immunology professor named Francesco Le Foche also said that the Atalanta-Valencia fixture could’ve been a catalyst in spreading the virus. He said: “It’s probably that there were several major triggers and catalysts for the diffusion of the virus. The Atalanta-Valencia game could very well have been one of them. It was the apex of collective euphoria in a unique football season for this club. A month has passed since that match, so the timing is pertinent.
“The aggregation of thousands of people, centimetres from each other, engaging in manifestations of euphoria like hugging, shouting, all of that could’ve favoured viral reciprocation. I have to imagine many didn’t want to miss that game if they had tickets, even if they felt a slight fever. With hindsight, it was madness to play with a crowd present, but at the time things weren’t clear enough. It’d be unthinkable now.”
Several Atalanta supporters would’ve traveled from Bergamo to Milan while people could’ve travelled from Spain as well. Given how rapidly the virus spreads, there’s a good chance of La Dea’s match against Valencia being a catalyst in spreading it.
Right now, most football leagues in Europe have been suspended and people are refraining from leaving their houses. We can only hope that the situation gets better soon and the people affected recover.