A GERMAN soccer team has suffered the ignominy of suffering a 37-0 defeat after opting to socially distance from their opponents amid worries over a potential outbreak of coronavirus.
Amateur team SG Ripdorf/Molzen II fielded just seven players for their Lower Saxony's 3 Kreisklasse league clash with SV Holdenstedt II.
The decision to field the minimum number of players required to complete the fixture came after it emerged that a player from the team Holdenstedt previously faced tested positive for coronavirus.
All of the Holdenstedt squad had already tested negative for Covid-19.
However, officials at Ripdorf still felt the conditions were not safe enough for the non-league side to field a full-strength team.
Rather than pay a €200 (£182.64) fine for forfeiting a game, the 11th tier side opted to move forward with the game.
Their Lower Saxony's 3 Kreisklasse league opponents showed no mercy though, scoring almost 40 goals at a rate of roughly a goal every two-and-a-half minutes.
Speaking to ESPN after the game, Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow thanked his players for their efforts, despite the staggering scoreline.
"We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a 200 euros fine for abandoning the match,” he said.
"That's a lot of money for us, especially amid the pandemic."
He added: "When the game kicked off, one of our players passed the ball to the opponent and our team walked to the sidelines.
"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.
"There is no perfect solution for it. And we went down this route.
"We wished Holdenstedt no harm."