SG Ripdorf/Molzen II fielded only seven players during its 37-0 defeat.
  • An amateur soccer team in Germany lost a match 37-0 on Sunday after only fielding seven players in an attempt to maintain social distancing and avoid catching the coronavirus. 
  • SG Ripdorf/Molzen II was concerned that its opponent had been in contact with an infected player during the previous round of games.
  • Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow told ESPN that his team "did not go into direct duels and observed the social distancing rules."
  • "We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a €200 (R3,800) fine for abandoning the match," he added. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An amateur soccer team in Germany lost a match 37-0 on Sunday after only fielding seven players in an attempt to maintain social distancing and avoid catching the coronavirus. 

SG Ripdorf/Molzen II was playing rivals SV Holdenstedt II in the 11th tier of German soccer when it fielded four less players than usual due to the fact Holdenstedt's squad had been in contact with an infected player in the previous match.

Fearing infection, Ripdorf could only pull together a team of seven — the minimum number required for a match.

"We tried to postpone the match, but Holdenstedt wanted to play," Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow told ESPN.

"We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a €200 (R3,800) fine for abandoning the match. That's a lot of money for us, especially amid the pandemic."

Holdenstedt took no prisoners, scoring a goal nearly every two minutes as Ripdorf players watched on from a safe distance.

"When the game kicked off, one of our players passed the ball to the opponent and our team walked to the sidelines," Ristow said. "Holdenstedt scored, but the referee booked our captain for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"The Holdenstedt players did not understand. But we did not want to risk anything. For the rest of the match, our players returned to the field but they only stood on the pitch.

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

Ristow added: "Amid the pandemic, it's a catch 22. There is no perfect solution for it. And we went down this route. We wished Holdenstedt no harm."

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