The match took place on March 11 and had over 52,000 spectators; 3,000 of those spectators were Atletico Madrid fans who travelled all the way from Madrid to Liverpool in order to watch the match from the stands in Anfield.
As of March 11 when the match was allowed to take place despite warnings from some analysts, the city of Liverpool had less than 30 confirmed cases while Madrid in Spain already had 1,000 confirmed cases and a series of coronavirus related deaths.
In fact, as at the Champions League matchday, Madrid was already observing a partial lockdown and football fans were no longer allowed to go to stadia to watch live matches, a measure the authorities in Madrid put in place to contain the spread of the virus.
This made critics wonder why Uefa allowed football fans to travel all the way from Madrid where there was partial lockdown due to coronavirus, to the city of Liverpool, where life was relatively normal.
All the same, the deal was done, the match took place and Liverpool crashed out of the round of sixteen 2-4 on aggregate. The 3,000 Atletico Madrid fans celebrated the victory back to Madrid with their team.
In less than a month after the infamous match for Liverpool, coronavirus confirmed cases in the city skyrocketed from double digits to 793 as of April 8, forcing the city, like every other part of United Kingdom to go on total lockdown.
Two days after the Champions League match, things became so bad that the Premier League, like almost every other major league in Europe, was suspended indefinitely.
Hence, the mayor of the city, Joe Anderson commissioned the city’s new public health director, Matthew Ashton, to see if there is any connection after a number of deaths and confirmed cases were blamed on the March 11 match.
Anderson said: “I have asked Matt Ashton and his team to conduct a full investigation into any potential link between that match and the situation with coronavirus in the city.
“We want to come to a view as to whether that decision had an impact on the people of this city and I’ve asked Matt to work with the universities to see if the data can give us an indication of that.”
Also, a council spokesperson said: “Liverpool City Council, alongside partners at the University of Liverpool and John Moores University, have agreed to explore any impact of Covid-19 as a result of the Atletico Madrid match at Anfield on March 11.
“Liverpool City Council’s public health team, alongside partners, is currently assessing the size and scope of the project.
“As the city’s current focus is very much on dealing with the pandemic, no timescale or date has yet been set for the completion of the work and when it will be reported.”
The match was the last major fixture to have taken place in England, as the Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League were suspended 48 hours after the Champions League match.