Last update: 03/26/20 6:30 pm
The mayor of Bergamo, one of the most affected cities in Italy, has called Atalanta's game against Valencia in San Siro a "biological bomb,quot; for the coronavirus.
The Champions League knockout round-robin tie was played against 44,236 on February 19 in Milan, a short distance from Bergamo, and four days before the first confirmed case in the region.
But just three weeks later, the return event in Spain was played behind closed doors as the outbreak in both countries worsened and after several people who had been in San Siro were diagnosed, including a Spanish sports journalist.
"The party was a biological bomb," Giorgio Gori told the Spanish newspaper. Brand, in an interview through Facebook. "At that time we did not know what was happening. The first patient in Italy was on February 23.
"If the virus was already circulating, the forty thousand fans who went to San Siro were infected. No one knew that the virus was already circulating among us. The virus passed from person to person."
Giorgio stressed, however, that "the party did not cause everything." He said: "The spark was really in the Alzano Lombardo hospital, as a patient with unrecognized pneumonia, infected patients, doctors and nurses. That was the focal point of the outbreak."
Since that first leg, which Atalanta won 4-1, Italy has reported more than 80,000 cases and more than 8000 deaths, and since the return match, also won by Atalanta 4-3, Spain has reported more than 50,000 cases and more. 4000 deaths.