Association football is back with the return of some of Europe’s top leagues, the Bundesliga in Germany and La Liga in Spain. However, the return is with a twist: it is being played behind closed doors, a reminder of the times that the world is shattered by a pandemic.
All we hear is players and coaches giving orders, but the stark reality is that football is not normal without its fans.
I can honestly state that it is boring watching a football game. We don’t see scenes of players celebrating goals with knee slides and jumps into the crowd. Instead, we see gentle fist pumps. In some ways, it feels like we are watching a training game.
How so? There isn’t passion and excitement because fans aren’t present. What you do have are players sitting on benches positioned two meters apart.
Perhaps having football back is better than nothing at all, but I dare say that it’s not by much. Sport is supposed to bring people together.
Matches without stadium spectators are not an ideal solution for anyone. However, during this crisis, which threatens the existence of some clubs, it is the only option to preserve the leagues in their present form. Not having fans in place, in the stadium, should not be the bar.
Football without fans will go ahead and on the other hand, fans may have to be further away than they would like. It is, sadly, a sacrifice that has to be made.
The bottom line is, playing football matches behind closed doors would help bring a sense of normality back into fans’ lives and would be better than not playing at all.
*Stefan Ngolo is a sports enthusiast and sports education scholar. He can be reached at email@example.com.
2020-06-17 08:58:53 | 26 days ago