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UK defends allowing major sports events just before lockdown

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on April 21, 2020 - Duration: 08:25s

UK defends allowing major sports events just before lockdown

A senior minister says the UK government was following scientific advice by allowing major sporting events such as the Liverpool-Atletico Madrid soccer match and Cheltenham horse racing festival to go ahead days before the coronavirus lockdown.

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UK defends allowing major sports events just before lockdown

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER, RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S DEPUTY CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR, ANGELA MCLEAN, FILE FOOTAGE OF ATLETICO MADRID TRAINING, STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF LIVERPOOL-ATLETICO MADRID, SOUNDBITE FROM LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP BEFORE LIVERPOOL-ATLETICO MATCH, FILE FOOTAGE OF LIVERPOOL TRAINING SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 20, 2020) (UK POOL - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER, RISHI SUNAK, SAYING: REPORTER, ASKING (English): "Considering that the guidance changed and mass gatherings were banned, do you think the government was too slow to cancel major sporting fixtures like football matches and the Cheltenham Festival and we may now be seeing the affects of that?" "I echo what Angela (McLean) said.

Every stage in this crisis we have been guided by the scientific advice and have been making the right decisions at the right time and it's important if you listen to Angela and her colleagues that that's what we do.

There is often a wrong time to put certain measures in place thinking about sustainability and everything else and at all parts of this we have been guided by that science, we've been guided by making the right decisions at the right time and I stand by that but more generally of course as Michael Gove said yesterday; this is an unprecedented situation that we're all dealing with.

I'm sure there are all things that we will learn from this as I've been very open about but in terms of the guidance we've put in place I believe it was the right guidance at the right time based on the scientific advice that we were provided with." 2.

NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S DEPUTY CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR, ANGELA MCLEAN, ON WHETHER LIVERPOOL V ATLETICO MADRID CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH SHOULD HAVE GONE AHEAD IN MARCH, SAYING: "If we are at the bit of our recent history where we were living our lives as normal, in that circumstance going to a football match is not a particularly large extra risk.

However, once you get to a situation of our strange lives as we live them now, where we spend all our time basically at home, of course you wouldn't add on an extra risk of lots and lots of people all going off to the same place at the same time.

I think it will be very interesting to see in the future, when all the science is done, what relationship there is between the viruses that have circulated in Liverpool and the viruses that have circulated in Spain.

That is certainly an interesting hypothesis you raised there." LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4.

ATLETICO PLAYERS TRAINING ON THE PITCH AT ANFIELD 5.

ALVARO MORATA WITH BLACK SCARF 6.

JOAO FELIX 7.

GOALKEEPER ANTONIO ADAN 8.

VICTOR MACHIN 9.

ADAN 10.

VARIOUS OF DIEGO COSTA TRAINING 11.

PLAYERS TRAINING IN A CIRCLE LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - MARCH 11, 2020) (ACTION IMAGES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 12.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF LIVERPOOL TEAM AHEAD OF THE SECOND LEG OF THEIR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST-16 TIE AGAINST ATLETICO MADRID AT ANFIELD 13.

STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF ATLETICO MADRID TEAM 14.

STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF PLAYERS ON THE PITCH AT END OF NORMAL TIME 15.

FOUR STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF ATLETICO MADRID FANS WEARING MASKS 16.

TWO STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF LIVERPOOL FANS OUTSIDE ANFIELD AHEAD OF THE MATCH LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 17.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER AND LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: REPORTER: "Go back to the coronavirus, unfortunately, it's something that we need to talk about.

We come from Spain, there's a lot of concerns about they have closed schools for 15 days, they have forbidden people to go to the stadiums, to attend to the stadiums, while La Liga still goes on, they have said not to shake hands before the game, but football is a sport of contact, physical contact.

Aren't you afraid that your players can get, you know, exposed?" KLOPP: "Are you from Madrid, are you from Madrid?" REPORTER: "I am from Argentina, I live in Madrid." KLOPP: "You live in Madrid.

OK, and you, are you concerned that in your city they close...?" REPORTER: They're not playing football tomorrow." KLOPP: "Oh, but that's not that special.

Playing football is just a game, we are not the society, we are part of the society and we should all be worried in the same time.

And that's exactly the thing I don't like that you sit here and ask me this question, but fly from Madrid to here.

So, stay there, they close schools and universities, but you are obviously concerned, that's the question, but you think now football is worth it to travel or whatever, that's the situation That's our problem, our common problem and we cannot sort it with football.

We play football, it's our part, it's what we have to do, your job is to transport information and I hope you do it better than you ask questions, to be honest, because that's the moment when I really get angry, when you give me the feeling I have a problem which you don't have.

We have all the same problem." REPORTER: "I'm not saying that." KLOPP: (Interrupting) "That's it exactly.

You said 'but I don't play football', that's only one part, you talk every day to people from close range what I don't do, so you are the same, are you worried?" REPORTER: "Let me explain myself.

What I said is there is physical contact in the sports..." KLOPP: "But the players at the moment, they are all healthy, why we should worry?

What we do with not shaking the hands is setting a sign.

It's good for you, it's good for you, it's good for me not to shake hands.

It's not important that 22 completely healthy players not shaking hands, it's a sign for society, for everybody out there.

At the moment, you set signs as well, then we are in the same boat, so that's why we do it." REPORTER: "We aren't in the same boat." KLOPP: "I'm not sure, but not so important." LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - FEBRUARY 17, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 18.

LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP WALKING ONTO TRAINING PITCH 19.

PLAYERS JOGGING DURING WARM UP EXERCISES INCLUDING MO SALAH, SADIO MANE AND ROBERTO FIRMINO 20.

KLOPP WATCHING TRAINING 21.

PLAYERS SKIPPING DURING WARM UP 22.

DEFENDER VIRGIL VAN DIJK DOING SQUATTING EXERCISES 23.

VAN DIJK AND OTHER PLAYERS STRETCHING 24.

PLAYERS STRETCHING/ SADIO MANE PUNCHING HIMSELF ON THE CHIN/ FABINHO (IN RED HAT) JOGGING AHEAD OF FIRMINO, TAKUMI MINAMINO AND SALAH 25.

SALAH PUSHING AGAINST MINAMINO 26.

VARIOUS OF PLAYERS EXCHANGING PASSES DURING TRAINING STORY: The UK government was following scientific advice by allowing major sporting events such as the Liverpool-Atletico Madrid soccer match and Cheltenham horse racing festival to go ahead days before the coronavirus lockdown, a senior minister said.

"At every stage in this crisis we have been guided by the scientific advice and have been making the right decisions at the right time," finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday (April 20) during the government's daily news conference.

"There is often a wrong time to put certain measures in place, thinking about sustainability and everything else.

At all parts of this we have been guided by that science, we have been guided by making the right decisions at the right time, and I stand by that." The government's deputy chief scientific adviser Angela McLean said the suggestion, made by a reporter, that allowing the soccer game to go ahead in the north-west English city of Liverpool on March 11 contributed to the spread of the coronavirus was "certainly an interesting hypothesis".

"It will be very interesting to see in the future when all the science is done what relationship there is between the viruses that have circulated in Liverpool and the viruses that have circulated in Spain," she said.

(Production: Tim Hart)

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