The Spanish journalist who travelled to Italy to cover Valencia’s Champions League clash with Atalanta confirmed to have the coronavirus has said it “could happen to anyone else that went to watch the match.”
Spanish sports journalist Kike Mateu, 44, made the comments during an interview with sports programme ‘El Chiringuito de Jugones’ broadcast by Spanish channel La Sexta.
Mateu travelled along with a reported 2,400 Valencia fans to Milan in the Lombardy region in northern Italy to watch their side’s 4-1 loss to Atalanta on 19th February in the San Siro.
Mateu was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, and gave an interview to give an update on his status.
Mateu said: “Here I am, isolated in the Clinic University Hospital Valencia after being patient zero for the coronavirus in Valencia, damn my luck.
“The whole world knows that coronavirus has arrived in Spain through the Atalanta-Valencia match with those 2,300 Valencia fans after they returned from the Lombardy capital.
“What nobody expected was that one of the accredited journalists that travelled to cover the match would be one of the first affected, in this case, the very first.
“Considering there were 2,300 Valencia supporters there, then it is logical to think that what happened to me can happen to anyone.”
As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in Spain with a reported 32 confirmed cases of the virus by Spanish health workers after it jumped up from 14 since yesterday (Friday).
Mateu went on to say: “It could happen to anyone else who went to watch the match” adding that “thanks to the fact I did not go to work because I was not well and decided to go to hospital they realised I was infected.
“Possibly the best news is that I did not infect anyone else.”
However, Mateu gave a calming message saying: “In any case, I am very well, so I want to send a message to calm everyone” adding that “friends from the media are all very worried about me.”
Mateu said he is just going to “wait to recover from a type of flu that is of little more importance.
“As you can see it has me more bored than anything else with the logical isolation to not infect anyone.
“I want to thank everyone who has contacted me, the media, friends, even the clubs, especially Valencia who are also worried about me and have put themselves at my disposition for anything I may need.
“Fortunately, this virus, as doctors have said, is not lethal, it is problematic because it is contagious but that is it. So I am OK.”
There have been a reported 83,732 cases of the virus across the globe resulting in 2,867 deaths.
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Story By: Juan Mayes , Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport