Coronavirus: Atletico pledge Anfield refunds following government advice

By Sports Desk March 10, 2020

Atletico Madrid will refund fans who have purchased tickets for Wednesday's Champions League game at Liverpool but decide not to attend.

The move comes after advice given to the club related to the coronavirus outbreak from the Spanish government, which does not recommend travel from Madrid and considers it "irresponsible" behaviour to go against this directive.

Forthcoming LaLiga and Ligue 1 matches will take place behind closed doors, while Serie A has been suspended along with all other sport in Italy until April 3 as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.

Tuesday's Champions League match between Valencia and Atalanta took place without fans and empty grandstands will overlook Barcelona versus Napoli and Bayern Munich versus Chelsea next week.

In a statement on their official website, Atletico told supporters that UEFA, along with authorities in Liverpool, confirmed the last-16 match – into which Diego Simeone's men carry a 1-0 first-leg advantage – would go ahead as planned and be open to both sets of supporters.

However, the advice handed to the club via Spain's Higher Sports Council was reproduced in full.

The statement read: "In line with the measures approved today by the government regarding the coronavirus, and specifically in relation to the request to avoid travel and the appeal to individual responsibility made by the health authorities, the Higher Sports Council reminds fans of the club of the decision taken by the government, namely: Non-essential movement outside of the Madrid community is not recommend and this includes departure to another country.

"This measure is consistent with those taken in relation to flights from Italy. Failure to comply with this request will be considered a decision outside the scientific evidence applicable for situations such as that suffered by Madrid of 'enhanced containment measures'.

"Not addressing this recommendation would be considered an irresponsible decision."

Atletico supporters who wish to claim a ticket refund have until 1900 Spanish time (1800 GMT) on Wednesday to email the club with their request.

Figures reported by the World Health Organizaion on Tuesday showed there had been 1,402 cases of coronavirus in Spain, and 373 in the United Kingdom.

Related items

  • Roma handed 3-0 loss for fielding ineligible player Roma handed 3-0 loss for fielding ineligible player

    Roma have been punished with a 3-0 defeat for fielding an ineligible player against Hellas Verona in their Serie A opener on Saturday.

    Lega Serie A announced on Tuesday that Roma used a player over the age of 22 who had not been registered on their 25-man list with the league.

    According to widespread reports, the administrative error relates to Amadou Diawara, who turned 23 in July.

    The game at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi finished goalless but Roma will return to zero points for the season following their sanction.

    Verona head coach Ivan Juric was fined €5,000 for giving his team instructions from the stands while serving a touchline ban.

  • Atletico Madrid defender Gimenez tests positive for coronavirus Atletico Madrid defender Gimenez tests positive for coronavirus

    Jose Gimenez has tested positive for coronavirus, Atletico Madrid have confirmed.

    The Uruguay defender was the only player from Monday's tests to return a positive result, the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Gimenez is now isolating at home, with Atletico confirming LaLiga's protocol has been implemented and the players will complete the next training session individually.

    Head coach Diego Simeone also tested positive for the virus earlier this month and underwent a period of isolation, though he did not display any symptoms.

    Atletico are due to start their new season at home to Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.

    Simeone's men finished third in a disrupted 2019-20 campaign, while they were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage by RB Leipzig.

  • Leyton Orient v Tottenham off: Spurs could get EFL Cup bye after hosts' coronavirus positives Leyton Orient v Tottenham off: Spurs could get EFL Cup bye after hosts' coronavirus positives

    Tottenham could be given a bye to the EFL Cup fourth round after opponents Leyton Orient announced a spate of positive coronavirus tests, leading to Tuesday's clash being called off.

    Orient were set to welcome Jose Mourinho's men to Brisbane Road for a third-round tie, but the League Two club confirmed on Monday that "a number of our first-team squad have tested positive for COVID-19".

    The club's stadium and training ground have been closed until further notice, with reports that up 18 players and staff had been infected.

    Confirmation the game would not go ahead on the scheduled date came just two hours before the intended kick-off time of 1800 (local time).

    "Tonight's Carabao Cup match between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur is not taking place this evening as scheduled," read an EFL statement.

    "Discussions are ongoing between the relevant stakeholders in regards to the implications of the decision not to play tonight's game and a further update will be provided in due course. 

    "Leyton Orient, the EFL and the relevant authorities are conducting a thorough review of the club’s COVID-19 secure procedures with the view to reopening the stadium and training ground as soon as possible."

    It is a bitter blow for Orient, who were set to earn a windfall from the game being televised, with Ross Embleton's men having beaten Forest Green Rovers and Plymouth Argyle to reach round three.

    The news also dims any prospect of a return to Orient for former loanee Harry Kane, the Spurs and England striker who struck a deal to sponsor the club's home shirts this season.

    The fixture would also have been significant for the fact that Justin Edinburgh played for Spurs and was in charge at Orient when he passed away in June last year following a cardiac arrest.

    Spurs are now afford an added rest ahead of Thursday's Europa League qualifying match against Shkendija in Macedonia.

    Sunday's 5-2 win at Southampton came after Gareth Bale's loan signing was confirmed, providing a much-needed boost to a side who started the season with a 1-0 home loss to Everton.

    The EFL Cup is the last piece of silverware Spurs got their hands on, lifting the trophy back in 2007-08, when Jonathan Woodgate was the unlikely match-winner in a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.