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Football team lose 37-0 after socially distancing from opponents

An amateur German football team lost a match 37-0 after they socially distanced from their opponents due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The losing side, SG Ripdorf/Molzen II, only fielded seven players as that was the minimum team size required to complete the fixture.

It came after their opponents for the game – SV Holdenstedt II – previously faced off against a team with a player who tested positive for coronavirus.

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Socially distanced fans watch Brighton and hove Albion play Chelsea in a pre-season friendly.
Inside a socially distanced football match

Despite all of the Holdenstedt squad testing negative for COVID-19, Ripdorf did not feel conditions were safe enough to properly compete.

However, in the 11th tier of German football there is a €200 (£182.64) fine for forfeiting a game.

And so the Lower Saxony’s 3 Kreisklasse league witnessed the almost 40 goal drubbing – equal to scoring a goal roughly every two-and-a-half minutes.

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Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow told ESPN after the game on 13 September: “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.”

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Mr Ristow 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.”

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