Atletico Madrid to maintain membership numbers of fans who died from coronavirus

Atletico Madrid will retain the membership numbers of season-ticket holders who have died during the coronavirus crisis for the 2020-21 season as a tribute to their memory.

The Rojiblancos say 32 of their members have died so far since the beginning of the pandemic.

Every June the club usually reallocates numbers that have become free due to cancellations or people passing away.

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However, this year the club say they will retain the numbers of members who have died for the next 12 months.

A statement on the club’s website read: “During these past few months, we have gone through difficult times and the Atletico de Madrid family has not been oblivious to the consequences caused by Covid-19.

“Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to illustrious players and coaches who made Atleti great throughout its history, as well as some of our club members. As soon as it's possible, the club will pay a well-deserved tribute to them in gratitude for their dedication and love for our colours and to show that they will always remain in our memories.

“Due to the very difficult circumstances we're going through due to the health crisis, the club has exceptionally decided to respect and maintain the membership numbers in the 2020-21 season of all those who have passed away during the pandemic, as a symbolic gesture in their memory and in gratitude for their support.

“The membership numbers, which have great sentimental value as they indicate the uninterrupted seniority as a club member, will be updated as usual in other cases, but will be kept for next season to pay tribute to all those Atletico supporters who left us due to this health crisis.”

The Atletico players returned to training on Saturday for the first time since La Liga was suspended in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

All players trained individually and across various pitches in order to meet social distancing guidelines. Brazilian full-back Renan Lodi missed the session amid reports he had tested positive for the virus.

League president Javier Tebas says he is targeting a return to match action on June 12 , subject to approval by the health authorities.

Germany’s Bundesliga became the first major European league to resume last weekend , with matches taking place behind closed doors.

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