News 18 September 2020

German Football Team Lose 37-0 In Socially Distanced Match

18 September 2020

A German football team lost 37-0 in a socially distanced match following health and safety concerns regarding coronavirus.

On Sunday (September 13), SG Ripdorf/Molzen II fielded seven players – the minimum number needed to compete in a fixture – after their opponents SV Holdenstedt II previously played against a team with a player who tested positive for covid-19.

Although all of the Holdenstedt players tested negative for the virus, Ripdorf were still uneasy about facing the side.

However, because teams in the 11th tier of German football are fined
 €200 (£182.64) for forfeiting a game, the club decided to go on with the fixture by playing seven players from its second team.

Once the game began, a Ripdorf player walked on to the pitch and passed the ball to an opponent, before the rest of the squad walked to the sidelines to witness what became a 37-0 defeat.

Speaking to ESPN following the game, Ripdorf’s co-chair Patrick Ristow said: “We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a 200 euros fine for abandoning the match.

“That’s a lot of money for us, especially amid the pandemic.”

He added: “When the game kicked off, one of our players passed the ball to the opponent and our team walked to the sidelines.

“The Holdenstedt players did not understand. But we did not want to risk anything. For the rest of the match, our players returned to the field but they only stood on the pitch.

“There is no perfect solution for it. And we went down this route.

“We wished Holdenstedt no harm.”