A small step towards reclaiming normalcy instills a great hope for the fans of the beautiful game!
Clubs in the Bundesliga are planning to welcome back fans into the stadiums again.
What have we missed? What the sporting world has missed?
Fans are an integral part of sports but we only know how much something’s worth only when they’re gone. Bundesliga was the first of Europe’s top five leagues to resume its COVID-19 suspension. The first match week had The Revierderby scheduled, a match that is fiercely competed by both teams to earn the bragging rights that’s at stake. The home fans encourage their players and make life hard for visiting athletes. The meager amount of away fans try to uplift the spirit of their representatives as the boys wear their hearts on their sleeves. However, it all seemed a figment of a memory from a distant past. The present was different and the future looked bleak.
The Revierderby on the 16th of May was played behind closed doors and it didn’t resonate the same way it used to in the Signal Iduna Park. Screams of players bounced around the nearly vacant gigantic stadium and the echoes sang the song of loneliness. Football was inevitable, it had to return sooner rather than later but even the best can be made better and fans appeared to be the final ingredient that would just finish off the dish, bring it to perfection. Make it what it is supposed to be, the people’s game. Sure, it’s of optimum importance to pay heed to the needs of the age, and we’re currently living in the era of isolation. We see our friends seldom and our footballers from way afar. Our frequenting spaces are severely shrunk with the reins of lockdown imposed and all of it is to protect what’s probably the only thing that fans say is worthy of being in a similar podium of importance as that of football, life itself.
So football resumed, brandishing a long list of essential guidelines and new rules, and fans witnessed the sport they love without the buzz of the crowd or with a synthetic one, created or replayed from before by the broadcasters. It seemed to lack a bit of soul but no one was in the position to complain as they were busy cherishing the skills, dramas, and thrills on the pitch.
The promise of a leap that rekindles gusto:
Germany was always a bit ahead than the rest in tackling the pandemic. Measured and thoughtful approaches to contain the outbreak have shown its results as the curve evidently flattened, to the relief of the administrators as well as the regular citizens and this points to the possibility of a better time. Germany becomes the first nation that plans to incorporate fans back into the mix from the 2020/21 season. Only the home fans, of course, as there’s still a lot of restrictions levied on traveling. The number of fans will be smaller as the DFL, the regulatory body of German Football wishes to take small steps towards the direction of normalcy. There will be no alcohol available, as it used to be and the standing areas of the stadium would have to be kept vacant but at least it’s a start.
The officials are looking to plan on this matter further as the health ministers and administrators will look to devise a working blueprint for the return of football in Germany, which the thirty-six clubs from the top two divisions unanimously agree upon.