A year ago, it would have been inconceivable that a major football event would take place without the fans. A football game, a European league for that matter, with just the players, officials, and journalists would seem impractical. The game wouldn’t feel the same as it used to. Yet, because of the pandemic, the world of sports is attempting to normalize playing in empty stadiums.
Italy was the first country with a European football league to take action following the crisis that outbroke around the world. This led to the suspension of both the Serie A and Serie B leagues in March.
Alternative ‘Fixes’ for Fanatics
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced the resumption of sports, without spectators. Serie A fanatics have learned the hard way that a football game without the soundtrack of a cheering crowd feels different.
Fanatics who stayed on top of the Italian Serie A and Serie B leagues have had a hard time as the season resumed to little fanfare. Some have had to resort to playing fantasy sports and playing casino games to compensate for missing out on the sports action.
Casinos and betting houses have been receptive enough to offer soft landing to dejected fanatics with bonuses. If you play casino games or bet on fantasy sports, go to this website to find the latest casino bonuses. It may not feel the same as being in a packed football stadium, but it is something.
“It’s just pain” – Bologna Coach
Football players, coaches, and league officials have made their thoughts on empty stadiums known. Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic disapproves of football matches with no fans. He opined that a football match in an empty stadium is ‘too frigid’ and that his team would rather have all events pushed to the next season. In his words, a football game played without an active audience is just pain.
“It is not about motivation. The crowds do not make the players play. But players, running around in the field, tire faster without the fans.” he said after his team played Parma in an empty stadium. The game ended in a 2 – 2 draw.
Mihaljlovic is not the only official to express how difficult football games can get without an audience. Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says that staging football matches without spectators “is only a short-term fix”. He says that the move, replicated across European leagues including German Bundesliga, cannot be the new normal. In his view, a prolonged absence of the fans during matches could ruin the quality and essence of the game.
Plans to Let Fans Into Stadiums From September?
While announcing the resumption of Serie A and B games in Italy, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced a plan. Should the global situation get better, the stadiums may be opened to the fans – albeit with limitations. Clubs would be allowed to fill their seats partially, but stringent social distancing rules must be observed. Fans could be allowed to attend games as early as September “if the epidemiological curve allows,” Spadafora told Radio Rai.
The reality that every industry may never be the same as we knew it a couple of months ago is dawning on the world. The new football calendar is taking shape as leagues resume across Europe and teams resume training. It is becoming clear that most of the European leagues will complete the season, except Ligue 1. The French government cut short the league and banned sporting events even on empty stadiums and behind closed doors.
New Serie A Fixtures
If you are a fan of Serie A league, you will be glad to know that the league plans on playing all its matches of the season. The new schedule involves playing each midweek and weekend through to the weekend of August 1st and 2nd. All the league fixtures have been confirmed and match dates set up to the final round. Every match in the league will take place at home venues behind closed doors and without fans.
While plans for the next season of the Serie A league are not confirmed, contracts for the new season will start on September 1st. Games are expected to begin on the weekend of September 12th. Everyone hopes that the pandemic situation will be under control by then to allow the resumption of regular full-stadium games.