Last Tuesday, UEFA announced they will allow supporters to return to stadiums in order to watch the match between the Champions League winner Bayern Munich and the Europea League winner, Sevilla.
AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS A POSSIBLE “NORMALIZATION”
The world still suffers with the consequences caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many countries are now suffering the biggest wave of the disease, while others are still taking strict health security measures, so that a new peak of contamination does not occur.
Since the first major outbreak in Europe, all sports competitions have gone through the same cycle: total paralysis, gradual return of sporting events, serious restrictive measures, closed gates until then.
Some events in Eastern Europe have already had a small attendance in some football games. In the same region, a tennis exhibition tournament, led by world’s number 1, Novak Djokovic, also received spectators.
Football between elite countries, still remains within closed gates. Although at some point, the Rio de Janeiro city hall, in Brasil, started gradually releasing the public access since July, nothing has been consolidated so far.
The exception to the rule was in France, where in a Paris Saint-Germain match, in preparation for the return of the Champions League, there was a partial return of audience, in a match held in Normandy.
The funny thing about it was that it was actually the French federation, together with the country’s government, that decided to precociously shut down the national league, claiming the lack of security due to the Corona Virus.
Now, the next step in the world, and in sports in general, in the fight for a normalization principle, will take over in UEFA’s Supercup.
The match that will bring together both Champions League and Europa League champions, Bayern Munich and Sevilla, respectively, has been confirmed with audience presence.
Who knocked the hammer was UEFA itself, who allowed the ticket sales for the match that will be held in Hungary, more precisely at Puskás Aréna, in Budapest.
The event will take place on September 24th and the stadium will be able to operate with up to 30% of its total capacity.
The UEFA president has assured that everything will happen under a strict health protocol, ensuring everyone’s safety.
The same UEFA, however, mantained the decision of preventing supporters from returning to stadiums in the remaining competitions, until further notice.
IT WILL BE A TEST TO RELEASE OTHER EUROPE COUNTRIES
Since the football calendar has been totally changed, and even knowing that Champions League has just ended, in the first weeks of September we will already have national leagues in progress.
Those competitions will remain with no attendance at a first moment, but hoping for success in the Budapest attempt.
It is not that simple, because it requires an interrelation between the competitions organizations, the stadiums administrators and the public power, which makes available the public transportation, amongst other public services.
If in the UEFA’s Supercup final everything turns out as expected, the tendency is that in the first coming months, European stadiums will start operating with a very reduced percentage of their full capacity.
THIS ALL SEEMS LIKE A VERY DISTANT DREAM IN THE AMERICAS
If in Europe, things are starting to move towards an almost happy ending, in Brasil and other South American countries, that doesn’t seem possible.
In the Americas, society is still going through the most contagious phase with hospitals still operating with a high rate of occupied beds, and not even the sport areas protocols have been fully respected.
In Brazil, more precisely in the second division, there are already a lot of cases regarding contaminated athletes, which ends up postponing important matches.
In the Brazilian Serie A, right in matchday 1, Goiás had 10 cases of infected players, and the match against São Paulo did not happen.
If some countries can’t even follow protocols in order for matches to take place, how will state federations, clubs, and government, manage to secure the safety of the ones who attend the stadiums?
The Copa Libertadores will resume in the next month, and the way clubs and athletes will react regarding the contact with players from other countries, is still causing a lot of apprehension in everyone.
Each country has its own protocol and its own structure to fight the disease, and even being a mess, Brasil still has the power to make things in the correct way.
We are all hoping for things in Europe to go down the right way and for that to serve as an example for the Americas.
For now it all seems a distant dream.It is a shame, because football and sports without fans lose much of their attractiveness.