The COVID-19 outbreak, now a global pandemic, is already starting to reshape how we interact with each other, and how humanity gathers together. Leagues such as Serie A in Italy have already started playing matches behind closed doors in empty stadiums, and it was though that the steady rise of coronavirus infections across the globe could start to impact events in countries that haven’t yet had major outbreaks like the United States, the UK, or Germany.
It might eventually, but at least in one example it hasn’t yet. The Champions League Round of 16 second leg between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur will proceed as planned in front of a full stadium on Tuesday. The decision was made by Burkhard Jung of the Leipzig city health and regulation office and confirmed by city spokespeson Matthias Hasburg on Monday.
This is a notable decision, not least because it comes against the reccomendion of German health minister Jens Spahn, who recommended a ban on all gatherings of more than 1000 people in Germany. Also notable is the Champions League match between PSG and Dortmund in Paris on Wednesday will be in an empty stadium. There are also several Bundesliga matches in the coming week that are already going to be behind closed doors. The release goes on to say that a decision on whether to close the stadium for the upcoming match between Leipzig and Freiburg will be made “at a later time.”
So the match tomorrow goes on as normal. It’s certainly a decision. I’m not sure if it’s a good one.