Tottenham’s Champions League bout against RB Leipzig was one of the last few games in Europe to be held in front of a live audience. And although the hosts won by a smooth 3-0 lead, the result is insignificant under the current circumstances. Fans are quite an important part of the entire football experience, and the authorities just realized the void left in its wake.
The Premier League management is currently engaged in discussions to figure out a way to fill empty stadiums once again while ensuring public safety and general health. It’s the same story over in Germany, as the authorities struggle to figure out how to reintroduce fans to Bundesliga this season.
The on-field energy is suffering a slow death as the fans continue staying away from the stands. And although the management tried to replicate the energy by playing recorded audio, it still lacks the soul. The authorities remain confident of the fans returning to stadiums soon, and they’re preparing a foolproof plan to ensure a gradual comeback.
What are the Possible Medical Repercussions of Reintroducing Fans?
The authorities have come up with a tracking tool that could be used to inform fans if they’ve come in proximity with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Although the finer points are yet to be finalized, returning to the stadium could be a reality in the next few weeks.
Another interesting solution is personalized tickets, containing the ticket-holder’s personal information. This could ensure easy tracking and future monitoring in case people test positive. Denying entry to Away fans is another policy being considered for Bundesliga 2020-21, although the authorities are still working out the details.
Both the Premier League and Bundesliga management want to ban alcohol consumption at the stands as they fear it could get difficult to manage a rowdy crowd. Standing terraces will also remain shut as practising social distancing is a lot easier when fans are seated. Even if the management comes up with a solution, the logistical difficulties need to be addressed.
How do the Fans Feel?
With most of Europe recovering from the virus and the growth rates under control, the fans are eager to return to the stadium, provided there’s scope for hygiene. The growing consensus supports the authority’s decision and is willing to cooperate in the general interest. However, a certain section of the public feels it’s too early for mass gatherings.
The concerns aren’t unfounded since Italy’s harrowing COVID-19 nightmare was partly due to league matches held during the same time. Sportsbooks too are keen on the fans returning to the stadium as live sports betting suffered major losses during the last six months.
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