"It was a very, very strange scenario on top of an already eerie LASK stadium" states former Manchester United player

Monday, March 16th, 2020 1:19pm

Former Manchester United player Ben Thornley revealed what is was like to be one of the select few allowed to watch Manchester United's 5-0 victory over LASK last Thursday.

The sporting schedule around the world has been transformed beyong belief as countries try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Governing bodies across Europe have decided to take measures by either suspending their respective leagues or allowing games to be played behind closed doors. 

With Champions League fixtures going ahead last week but the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 growing by the day across the continent, many wondered whether Europa League fixtures on Thursday evening would go ahead as planned. 

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The World Health Organisation have now declared Europe is the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One person who was allowed to go to the game between LASK and Manchester United in the Europa League was former Red Devils winger Ben Thornley.

With the fixture set to be played behind closed doors, Thornley revealed on The Final Whistle that his flight out to Austria was touch and go, and some of his colleagues, set to work on the game, were not allowed to board the flight.

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"It was a strange scenario," Thornley said.

"As we all gathered at the airport to take the charter plane out there, and obviously the team would do that a couple of hours later, we got a call from from one of our organisers to say that most of the crew that were assembled at Manchester Airport ready to fly out, we're not going to be needed to travel.

"And it ended up with just myself, Stewart Gardner- my co-commentator- a cameraman and a photographer. And we were the only people on a chartered plane plus some security. So it was a two-hundred seater plane, and there were 14 of us on it in the end.

"And even when we got there, there was still a case for the games not being played. But then we got the announcement that the teams that had already made their trips to the destinations, obviously that would have been all of them, the games were actually going to go ahead.

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"So we commentated on the game on Thursday night and then came back straight away to all the news breaking with the various different clubs having the outbreak of it.

"So yeah, it was a very, very strange scenario on top of an already eerie LASK stadium that didn't contain any fans.

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