Atalanta fans donate €60k to local hospital after cancelled Valencia trip

Atalanta fans were not allowed to attend their side’s Champions League trip to Valencia in March and have decided to put the money saved to a good cause.

Fans of the Serie A club were reimbursed by the club for their planned trip to the Mestalla for the second leg of their Round of 16 clash in the competition due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The first leg of the encounter, played in the San Siro stadium in Milan, was described as a ‘biological bomb’ for the spread of coronavirus in northern Italy, according to the mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori.

Bergamo, the city where Atalanta are from, swiftly became the worst impacted in the entirety of the nation with the northern Lombardy region becoming the epicentre of the virus in Europe.

As the full severity of the virus became known, football across Europe began to shut down but the second leg of the Champions League tie between the sides was played behind closed doors in Spain.

Atalanta fans then donated the €60k in costs received from the club towards their local Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, with a group of the club’s Ultras visiting the hospital.

The ultra group also have made and sold special t-shirts in order to raise funds to order a new ambulance.

“It was a lovely moment to meet the fans,” hospital director general Maria Beatrice Stasi told La Repubblica, in quotes carried by Football Italia.

“We talked about the most tragic period of the pandemic, which we got through thanks to teamwork, a sense of belonging and a common understanding. These are all concepts those in sport know, appreciate and share.

“As a hospital, we also collaborated with Atalanta as well as its fans. After everything the city has been through, those bonds became even stronger.”

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