A football match that had been hoping to attract hundreds of paying fans to watch players with the novel coronavirus take on opponents who were yet to be infected has reportedly been dashed after police discovered the plan.
Local reports in Spain said that a 23-year-old had put up posters to promote a “coronavirus fundraiser” in the city of Pamplona, which is thought to be one of the hotspots for infections in a country where police have enforced punishments for breaking a stringent lockdown.
The friendly match was billed as the “the Mendillori kickabout” – named after the district where the action would have taken place – to raise funds for Covid-19 sufferers, asking anyone with an interesting in taking part or paying to watch to make contract via Instagram.
Authorities in the district were “alarmed” at the idea of a large gathering taking place and could fine the organizer around $3,400 under government rules, according to AS.
While one joker called the proposed showdown “a breathtaking match if ever there was one” on Twitter, another observer reasoned: “Everyone wins in the end because everyone becomes Covid positive. Pure genius, this.”
A critic added: “I would ask what were they thinking but that is giving too much credit. They were not thinking at all.”
Elite football was suspended for more than three months in Spain at the start of the outbreak and matches in La Liga are still being played without fans as part of attempts to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The top divisions in England, Germany, Italy and other leagues around Europe also returned behind closed doors in June, with no date confirmed for when any supporters might be allowed to re-enter stadiums.
Tennis number one Novak Djokovic was at the center of a scandal last month when he hosted a tennis tournament in front of thousands of people, resulting in several stars testing positive for Covid-19.