A soccer match last month that sparked euphoria in Bergamo has taken on a much darker relevance in the epicenter of Italy’s deadliest covid-19 outbreak.The Feb. 19 Champions League contest reportedly drew over 40,000 residents of Bergamo to nearby Milan to see their hometown squad, Atalanta, take on Spain’s Valencia. Atalanta’s 4-1 first-leg victory, in the upstart side’s inaugural trip to the knockout rounds of the world’s most prestigious club competition, had those closely packed residents and thousands more back home hugging in raucous celebration.Weeks later, Bergamo has earned the tragic distinction of being the hardest-hit province in the hardest-hit region, Lombardy, of Europe’s hardest-hit country. The spread of the novel coronavirus has swelled the daily obituary section in Bergamo’s local newspaper from two or three pages to as much as 10 or 11. Intensive care units there don’t have nearly enough beds, and Italian soldiers are being deployed to move coffins from Bergamo’s overwhelmed morgues.Among the “sad explanations” for the plight there is the soccer match, the mayor of Bergamo, a town of approximately 120,000 that has the same name as its province, said Tuesday.“Some 40,000 Bergamo inhabitants went to Milan to watch the game. Others watched it from


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