As the ministry of health has always stressed, “safety comes first”.
German football certainly did have to be reminded of that after it suffered a crushing 37-0 defeat after practicing social distancing in its game ain’t local rival, SV Holdenstedt II.
The armature club, SG Ripdorf/Molzen which plays in the 11th tier of German football, filled only seven players in the team over fears its opponent was a Covid-19 risk.
Reisdorf co-chairman Patrick Ristow told CNN that Holdenstedt had come into contact with an infected player during their last game and so Ripdorf felt the conditions were unsafe due to the two-week incubation period.
Ristow said the club tried to carry forward the game but its opponents said there was no reason do to so as the team had previously tested negative for Covid-19.
According to the club’s coach, Florian Schierwater there was no reason to call off the match since none of their players had come into contact with the infected person.
Despite resistance from the team, seven Ripdorf players volunteered to play, helping the club to avoid a fine.
“In this pandemic, our club hasn’t much money to pay this so our team said they would play, but keep the distance from the opponents,” Ristow told CNN.
“During the full 90 minutes, our players kept perfect distance so Holdenstedt had enough time to score goals. We didn’t speak about tactics because we all knew that this game would be a big loss. Our opponent didn’t understand when we walked to the side of the pitch.
“We also know that the score is really bad but security is more important than a game for us. For all players this result is okay and [at] the end of the season, it’s important to collect points and not goals.”
The Holdenstedt players showed no mercy to their 5-men-less opponents throughout and netted a goal nearly after every two minutes.
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The results of the match went viral on the internet with the club attracting attention from the global media.
Ristow said the last few days they have received calls from radion and TV stations around the world with many suggesting to them what they should do.
“If this situation [would] happen again, we hope that we can find a way together with our opponent to postpone the game,” he added.