Fans wondering if they will be allowed to attend UEFA Champions League fixtures.
Fans around the world are locked inside their home and are desperate to go out and cheer their teams in the stadium but it may be a long time till people are allowed back into the stadiums. Liverpool’s match against Atletico Madrid during last season was the last Champions League match that fans got to see in a stadium after which the global pandemic made governments issue worldwide lockdowns. Football was resumed later in the year but the matches were played in empty stadiums. Now the question arises again, will fans be let inside the stadium?
There are many blockbuster matches set up for this season of the UEFA Champions League and fans will not want to miss it. Finally, after two years fans will be able to witness Lionel Messi go up against Cristiano Ronaldo head to head when Barcelona and Juventus meet in the group stages. They will also witness Liverpool going up against Ajax after 50 long years but they might have to do so on television as the UEFA board of directors have made a rule that only 30% of the stadium can be filled up.
The rule gets even more strict as countries who do not want mass gatherings can opt to overrule this decision and not allow anyone into the stadium. Thus, in countries like Germany and France who have allowed a small number of fans to enter the stadium, fans can also watch the Champions League matches, however, in countries like England, it will not be allowed. Furthermore, only home fans are allowed inside the stadiums and away fans must wait for the reverse fixture.
The decision was taken after a trial run in the UEFA Super Cup finals in the Puskas Arena in Budapest where Bayern Munich beat Sevilla 2-1. 15,000 fans were allowed to enter the 67,000 capacity stadium. UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, stated that this was a step forward in keeping both the fans and the country happy.
While we all face a common enemy in COVID-19, different countries have different approaches and different challenges at any given moment. This decision allows much more local flexibility to deal with admitting fans than was previously the case, always respecting the assessment of local authorities.”
While the majority of football fans will not be able to view their favorite clubs in a stadium, they will surely look to support them from the safety of their homes, and with multiple major fixtures, the 2020-21 Champions League will be a delight to watch.
Image Credit – UEFA Champions League