К : Reuters.
Published : 14. May 2020 17:34:39
Borussia Mönchengladbach celebrates Glasses Embolo. (source: Reuters)
The voices of the players bounce from the empty stands, a leather ball is kicked on the field and the German Bundesliga will have a completely different feeling when it continues on Saturday.
German football fans, who have been hungry for the last two months due to the closure of KOVID-19, have to get used to the new reality slowly and quickly, and all matches have to be played without spectators to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus.
These fanless games, called ghost games in Germany, are almost unknown in the Bundesliga. The competition between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cologne on 11. March was the only high-level game ever played without fans.
In other parts of Europe, however, such ghost games are not uncommon, in most cases because of the penalties for disturbing the crowd.
However, the German fans now have to give up their routine of Saturday and restart the league from a distance, knowing that any attempt to approach the team is a violation of the health rules of the league.
In total, approximately 300 players, officials and staff members will be admitted to the stadiums and surrounding areas during the matches.
The police will guard the areas around the arenas, including Dortmund’s Borussia Signal Iduna Park for the derby against fierce opponents from the Ruhr area Shalke 04, which are inaccessible to the fans.
Although we want to motivate the derby team as much as possible for empty stands, we will not gather at the stadium, for example in the bus, said Borussia Dortmund’s Schudtribuene fan club recently.
The Bundesliga clubs have thought about how they can improve the atmosphere by playing music or putting empty cards on the seats, as is the case with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
For 19 euros, the club offers to cover the stands with cardboard – and fans of the invited teams can order cut-outs along the way. According to the club, more than 12,000 such delicacies have been ordered so far.
But fans say that nothing can replace reality, and more than 20 groups of German fans have joined dozens of others in Europe by stopping the game until the fans are allowed to return.
Sports clubs need to fully understand the passion that brings thousands of people together and not just listen to the wolves in business. The public and fans are by definition the most important factors in mass sport, the group said in a statement.
We therefore call on UEFA and the national federations to enforce the ban and stop the football league until a visit to the stadium becomes a habit again, without any health risks, they said.
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