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  • David Tyrer

Liverpool's director of public health: LFC vs Atletico should not have gone ahead

It's a fairly obvious statement to make, but considering that the city now has over 300 Covid cases, with many others no doubt unconfirmed, makes the decision look worse by the day.

Liverpool vs Atletico was allowed to go ahead, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was starting to take hold in the UK, but was already bursting throughout Spain.

The UK government shrugged their shoulders, whilst the Spanish government didn't seem at all bothered about their own people travelling abroad, despite having already locked down their own country.

And today, Liverpool City Council's director of public health, Matt Ashton, has spoken out again about the decision to allow the match to go ahead.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: "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 Atlético Madrid game could have been one of the cultural events and gatherings that influenced the rise in Liverpool. It is definitely one to be included on the list for learning and for a future inquiry, so that organisations can learn and not make similar mistakes."

While he's probably right that these sorts of decisions aren't made on purpose, they are still painfully negligent, and somebody has to be held to account once the crisis is over, with Liverpool having more cases than larger cities such as Leeds and Manchester.

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