The second wave of coronavirus slows the return of the public to the stands

The second wave of coronavirus slows the return of the public to the stands

Germany, France and Italy already test with people in the stadiums. LaLiga does not expect to do it until 2021. Neither does the Premier.

The second wave of coronavirus slows the return of the public to the stands

The most difficult thing about making plans in the middle of a pandemic is that it is the pandemic, and not the plans, that sets the times. In the same week, England has delayed sine die the return of the public to the Premier stadiums, but the Bundesliga has begun to recover its own. France has further limited capacity, but Italy wants to fill the fields to 25% of capacity. In Spain, LaLiga does not expect to be able to hold matches with the public before 2021.

The decision is in the hands of the Higher Sports Council, which in June assumed control of access to the stadiums of the professional leagues (First and Second Football Division, ACB Basketball League). To date, Irene Lozano has ruled out reopening them in 2020 and the evolution of the pandemic makes it unlikely to shorten the deadlines.

The CSD's powers are limited to these three professional leagues, but they do not cover European competitions, where they depend on local authorities. Therefore, football could see cases as paradoxical as those that Valencia Basket , Joventut or Unicaja will experience , who will not be able to have an audience in their ACB matches, but in those of the Euroleague and Eurocup.

UEFA has already used the European Super Cup as a pilot test (it enabled 25% of the capacity of the Puskas Arena , which gathered more than 15,000 fans), but has not yet announced its plans for the Champions League or the Europa League. That same night, Granada played their game of the previous phase behind closed doors in Los Cármenes.


In this new vocabulary that the pandemic has brought to our lives, fans have forcibly become experts in the incidence rate: if in the seven days before the game there are more than 35 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, in the Bundesliga It must be played behind closed doors. It already happened to Bayern Munich in the opening game and it can still happen to Schalke this weekend. Gelsenkirchen moves on the cutting edge. Only seven of the nine matches of the first day in Germany had an audience. Cologne made their debut behind closed doors while Borussia Dortmund, an hour away by car, brought 9,300 fans to the Westfalenstadion . To make it possible, the teams play tetris with their stands. RB Leipzig divided its stadium into 15 sectors, each with a maximum of 600 fans, to accommodate a total of 8,500. The Berlin Union managed to put in 4,600.


Those figures will not be visible for a while in Ligue 1, where the preseason games were even played with the public. Given the advance of the pandemic in the French country, Minister Jean Castex announced new measures for sport on Wednesday: in most cities (Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille …), the limit of 5,000 has been reduced just 1,000 fans. In Marseille, a heavily affected region, Olympique had to request a special permit from the authorities to receive Metz with 1,000 fans in the stands. The following matches must be played behind closed doors.


The Premier had planned that fans would gradually return to the stadiums from 1 October, but the second wave has carried away their plans. Among its new measures, the British Government has limited mass concentrations, a situation that could last until March. The English league has issued a statement assuring that for every month that the stadiums remain empty, the clubs will lose about 100 million pounds.

The government of Boris Johnson only allows pilot tests with a maximum of 1,000 fans at the moment, but the Premier clubs have refused. With so few, the accounts for opening the stadium do not come out. These first tests were carried out last weekend in the Championship, the second division, in the Norwich and Middlesbrough games, and in eight other third category games.


Since this week, Serie A has once again welcomed the public in its stands. Following the announcement of the Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora , Milan-Bologna already had 1,000 spectators in the stands and the plan is to gradually reach 25% capacity in the stadiums.

In fact, in some cases, these figures cannot be reached. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, it proposes a maximum of 1,000 fans in each sector of the stadium, which would leave San Siro (11) or the Olímpico in Rome (6) far from that 25%. The plan must be approved today unanimously at the Conference of Regions and then receive the approval of the Scientific Technical Committee.

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