The head of the region's health officials in Bergamo asks Atalanta fans to try not to assemble to support their team against Real Madrid, as they describe last year's face-off against Valencia as a 'biological bomb.'
The memorableChampions League
first leg in Round of 16 commences at the Gewiss Stadium tonight at 20.00 GMT, yet will be played away from plain view.
In a few defining games in the last few days, we have seen fans have gathered around training grounds or the arenas to support their teams with banners, flares, and serenades, with around
individuals outside of San Siro for the Milan Derby.
With the dread this could occur in Bergamo as well, the club distributed an open letter from
, the overseer of the local health district.
"Dear Atalanta fans, the historic day we are about to experience sees our Atalanta welcome an icon of football in Real Madrid. It's an occasion of pride, joy and sporting participation that we will remember forever.
"Let us live this great and historic game with the prudence and caution that the moment demands, avoiding congregating together, hugging, chants and meetings.
"The time will come once again when we can experience these situations in absolute freedom, and we will certainly get there, but now we need patience, the same patience we showed as fans in waiting for this dream game with Real Madrid.
"The fans in Bergamo will once again be able to show their love for the Dea with respect for their fellow citizens. Even if that means being in front of the TV, you will feel part of a small piece of football history in Bergamo, the kind you can tell your grandchildren about.
"Thank you for keeping us all in your hearts and respecting everyone's health."
A year ago, Atalanta won 4-1 over
in San Siro stadium -Gewiss Stadium was undergoing restructuring work-. That match and many people headed out from Bergamo to Milan, and many others who celebrated the victory in Bergamo's streets were pinpointed as a critical second in the blast of COVID-19 in the Bergamo territory.
Bergamo and Brescia proceeded to turn into the focal point of the pandemic in Italy.