German side socially distances from rivals in 37-0 rout

Ross Houston
September 20, 2020

SG Ripdorf/Molzen II deemed the conditions of play unsafe after learning that players from Holdenstedt, their opponents in the 11th tier of German football, had been in contact with a player who had been infected with COVID-19 in a previous match.

As it turned out, Holdenstedt's first team didn't even feature; the XI was instead made up of second-string players.

The decision to field the minimum number of players required to complete the fixture came after it emerged that a player from the team Holdenstedt previously faced tested positive for coronavirus. "We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a 200-euro fine for abandoning the match", Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow instructed ESPN. At the beginning of the match, one of Ripdorf's players stepped onto the pitch, passed the ball to an opponent and the team then walked to the sidelines.

"Several players on our second team told us that they would like to avoid contact with SV Holdenstedt players to be safe", Ristow later explained to AZ.


Holdenstedt showed no mercy and scored a goal almost every two minutes, while their opponents watched on from a safe distance. The match referee, clearly bewildered, duly booked Ripdorf's captain for unsporting behaviour. But we did not want to risk anything.

A GERMAN soccer team has suffered the ignominy of suffering a 37-0 defeat after opting to socially distance from their opponents amid worries over a potential outbreak of coronavirus.

Forced to either play or face a hefty penalty for abandoning the match, the side made a decision to take the field while respecting social distancing protocol. Their coach, Florian Schierwater, said there was "no basis to call off the match".

The match, played out last Sunday, has since caught national and global attention and Ristow said the club never wanted to create stir.


"There is no flawless solution for it".

"They did not go into direct duels and observed the social distancing rules, keeping two metres between them and Holdenstedt players", he added of his players.

"We wished no harm to Holdenstedt players".


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