Spanish giants Atletico Madrid have refunded 290 fans who could not travel to Anfield fearing the coronavirus outbreak. Diego Simeone’s men travelled to Anfield to play the second leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Atletico Madrid knocked out defending champions Liverpool, defeating them 4-2 on aggregate.
It is reported that more than 3,000 Atletico Madrid fans travelled to Merseyside for the game against Liverpool. However, around 290 fans chose not to travel to the UK in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak as well as the advisories issued by Spanish health and government authorities. The match was played just a day after all schools and colleges in Madrid were shut.
According to Spanish publication Diario AS, Liverpool declined to refund the ticket amount of 290 fans valued at €17,000 ($18,300). However, Atletico Madrid decided to cover the costs from their own accounts. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health Matthew Ashton recently claimed that the Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid Champions League game should not have been played.
Ashton claimed that the clash could have been one of the major events responsible for the spread of coronavirus on Merseyside. It is reported that around 54,000 people attended the game. Cases of coronavirus reportedly went on to escalate around the same time.
The first leg of the clash between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool was played at the Wanda Metropolitano. Saul Niguez scored the only goal of the game in the 4th minute. Jurgen Klopp’s men failed to equalise and had the opportunity to turn the tie around at Anfield.
The second leg saw Liverpool take the game to the visitors. The game was to be decided by extra-time play after a 1-1 tie in the first 90 minutes. Later, a brace from Marcos Llorente and a goal from Alvaro Morata knocked Liverpool out of the competition.