The mayor of Madrid has said it was a 'mistake' for Atletico Madrid fans to travel to Anfield for their Champions League game with Liverpool, despite
Questions were raised at why 3,000 Atletico supporters were allowed to travel for their last-16 second-leg win over Liverpool on March 11.
This had been despite the announcement that all LaLiga games would be played behind closed doors, just one day before the match took place.
The mayor of Madrid has said it was a mistake for Atletico fans to travel for the Liverpool game
Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida said it ‘didn’t make sense’ for fans to travel to Anfield at that time
Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida told Onda Cero radio: ‘It didn’t make any sense that 3,000 Atletico fans could travel to Anfield at that time. It was a mistake.
‘Looking back with hindsight, of course, but I think even at that time there should have been more caution.
‘From the day before the game the regional government and Madrid council had already adopted important measures on reducing large gatherings of people.’
Earlier this month, Liverpool council’s director of public health Matthew Ashton, suggested the rise in coronavirus cases in the city might have been influenced by the decision to allow the match to take place.
There were just 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Liverpool on Friday, March 20, but that number had jumped to 309 less than two weeks later.
MPs in Liverpool and former England striker Gary Lineker were among those questioning the wisdom of allowing 3,000 supporters from coronavirus-hit Madrid to travel for the last-16 second-leg fixture at Anfield.
Atletico Madrid would go on to beat Liverpool 4-2 on aggregate in front of 54,000 supporters
Ashton told the Guardian: ‘It was not the right decision to stage the match.
‘People don’t make bad decisions on purpose – perhaps the seriousness of the situation wasn’t being understood across government at that time.
‘Although we will never know, the Atletico Madrid game could have been one of the cultural events and gatherings that influenced the rise in Liverpool.’
The game was played one day after LaLiga said league games would play behind closed doors
The day before the match, which Atletico won 3-2 after extra-time to prevail 4-2 on aggregate in front of 54,000 fans, LaLiga had announced all fixtures in its top two divisions would have to be played behind closed doors.
Since then, all of the major European leagues have been shut down.