In their home city, Spanish side Atlético Madrid are now required to play their matches behind closed doors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Spain. More than 2,100 people have been stricken with the disease and 49 have died in that country. But for reasons that remain unexplained, 3,000 fans from Madrid have been permitted to travel to England to witness their team's UEFA Champions League showdown against defending European champions Liverpool FC on Wednesday, according to a report by The Liverpool Echo.
Nearly 800 of Spain's coronavirus cases have been reported in the Madrid region, making it the hardest hit in that country. Schools and universities have been shut down there, and public gatherings of more than 1,000 people are now banned, meaning that all La Liga matches must be played in empty stadiums.
But although Madrid fans may not legally attend their team's home games, thousands of those same fans will now "mingle with the population of Liverpool over several days, without tests or restrictions," according to Daily Mirror sportswriter David Maddock, as quoted by The Echo.
The United Kingdom itself has suffered almost 400 coronavirus cases, with six fatalities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Nonetheless, as of Wednesday afternoon in the U.K., the Round of 16 second-leg Champions League match was set to proceed as normal.
ESPN previews the match in the video below.