COVID-19 Spread in Europe: The Soccer Connection

Bibodh Karki
2020 The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections  
Mass gatherings, such as sports events, are potential causes of the rapid spread of COVID-19 infection. Millions of soccer fans travel across Europe every week. With the world's most popular leagues continuing play until the second week of March 2020, we hypothesize that a correlation exists between the number of people attending the soccer league games in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK and the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in these countries during the ongoing epidemic.
more » ... ods: We calculated the total number of attendees in the five major soccer leagues from the popular sports websites and the official pages of the league. The total number of COVID-19 cases were taken from the Worldometer websites. Results: The average attendance in the last game week of five major soccer leagues during the second week of March 2020 ranged from 189,545 to 511,524. The total number of COVID-19 cases was 350,000. Conclusion: Mass movement of spectators among different cities in the European countries to attend major soccer league matches could be one of the reasons for sudden increase in COVID-19 cases. Before resuming these games, proper planning, surveillance, communication, and necessary modifications are required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
doi:10.18297/jri/vol4/iss1/46 fatcat:2ti4ummb7fbptc2dc6zpu47oam