A defeat for the history books

Losing 37-0 to a rival team may be a better tactic than going down to a virus.

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German football team SG Ripdorf/Molzen II that lost 37-0 to city rivals SV Holdenstedt II after deciding on two medically prudent but tactically unwise measures: to field only seven players and practice social distancing during the match.
It has been long said in sports that it is not about winning or losing but how you play the game. Several sportspeople have, nevertheless, disagreed on that count, with one legendary tennis player even averring that ‘Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost.’

That attitude was all very well in the pre-pandemic era, but now more cautious aphorisms come to mind, such as ‘It is better to be safe than sorry’ and ‘discretion is the better part of valour’, not to mention ‘score twice before you cut once’. The latter adage, of course, is not a sporting dictum but the importance of looking before leaping is evident. All these axioms must have weighed on the minds of the players of the German football team SG Ripdorf/Molzen II that lost 37-0 to city rivals SV Holdenstedt II after deciding on two medically prudent but tactically unwise measures: to field only seven players and practice social distancing during the match.

Ripdorf players keeping 2 m between themselves and Holdenstedt as the latter team had come in contact with a Covid-19-positive person during a previous game led to that inevitable result. There may be a debate in future over whether paying a €200 fine to skip the game may have been a better option than being defeated by such a margin, but the ensuing publicity has been priceless, no doubt.

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