An amateur German team paid the price for socially distancing during a game as they lost 37-0 to their local rivals.
Preparations for a league game did not go as planned for SG Ripdorf, an 11th-tier side, as they opted to field just seven players, the minimum number required to avoid an abandoned fixture.
There were fears ahead of kick-off after opponents Holdenstedt had previously faced a team who registered a positive Covid-19 result, prompting action from Ripdorf.
No Holdenstedt players had tested positive by Ripdorf did not want to take any health risks, while also avoiding a €200 (£182) penalty for failing to fulfil the fixture.
“We are thankful those seven players volunteered, otherwise the club would have faced a €200 fine for abandoning the match,” Ripdorf co-chair Patrick Ristow told ESPN. “That’s a lot of money for us, especially amid the pandemic.”
Holdenstedt fielded their second string but still scored every two to three minutes.
“When the game kicked off, one of our players passed the ball to the opponent and our team walked to the sidelines,” Ripdorf said.
“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.”
"They did not go into direct duels and observed the social distancing rules, keeping two metres between them and Holdenstedt players."
Holdenstedt coach Florian Schierwater said: "There was no reason not to play this game."