Coronavirus: Diego Costa 'coughs' on reporters after Atletico Madrid's Champions League win at Liverpool

Costa appeared to poke fun at escalating coronavirus crisis

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Thursday 12 March 2020 12:15 GMT
Coronavirus: Trump suspends Europe-US travel

Diego Costa pretended to cough on reporters as he walked through Anfield’s mixed zone after Atletico Madrid’s Champions League win over Liverpool.

Costa appeared to poke fun at the escalating coronavirus crisis after his side’s 4-2 aggregate victory while quickly passing through the interview area after final whistle.

The 31-year-old mockingly ‘coughed’ on the assembled media while making his way to Atletico’s team bus, with the footage captured by Spanish football television programme El Chiringuito.

Costa was substituted at the start of the second half at Anfield for Marcos Llorente, who ultimately scored two goals in extra time to all but send Atletico through and eliminate Liverpool.

The incident was not unlike one involving Utah Jazz basketball player Rudy Gobert, who mocked the coronavirus outbreak by making a point of touching microphones at a press conference earlier this week.

Gobert tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, leading to the immediate and indefinite suspension of the NBA’s 2019-20 season.

The Premier League is yet to take measures against combatting coronavirus, though there is a growing acceptance that games will be played behind closed doors within the coming weeks.

Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga have both been suspended following an escalation of Covid-19 cases in western Europe, while games in France’s Ligue 1 will be played behind closed doors.

The coronavirus outbreak has led to 127,809 cases worldwide and 4,716 deaths. On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation confirmed that the virus is now considered to be a global pandemic.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in