A Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia in Italy ‘infected 40,000 fans’ with the naval coronavirus, Bergamo mayor Giorgio Gori has claimed.

Atalanta hosted Valencia at Inter Milan’s San Siro last month as their 21,000-capacity home ground in Bergamo, Italy was deemed too small.

Italy, which is currently on lockdown has been the most affected country in the world with 6,820 deaths so far and Bergamo is one of their worst-hit towns with 3,800 cases.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 400,000 people worldwide, including over 19,000 deaths.

Gori believes Atalanta’s 4-1 win over Valencia in Milan, which had more than 44,000 supporters watching, started the spread of the deadly disease in Europe.

He told Spanish outlet Marca:

The match was a biological bomb. At that time we did not know what was happening.

If the virus was already circulating, the 40,000 fans who went to San Siro were infected.

No one knew that the virus was already circulating among us.

Many watched the game in groups and there were lots of contact [between fans] that night.

The virus passed from one person to another.