Crowdless Stadiums

One of the most controversial issues in football today is the presence or absence of spectators in football stadiums. For health reasons, it was decided that, once the competitions had resumed after the break by Covid-19, it would do so without one of the elements that make this sport an art: its fans. As the months have gone by and the situation has been brought under control to a greater or lesser extent (the management of which I will not comment on), the debate has arisen to allow public attendance at the stadiums again.

Under no circumstances should complete occupation of the stadiums be allowed, as this would violate current health measures, but I am in favour of gradually normalising the situation and facilitating the presence of fans on the country’s various football pitches.

I think it is common sense that the welfare of society should prevail over everything else, but, however rational it may be, I describe myself as a real football fan. For that reason, I believe that it is at least close to controversial that an event held outside in a relatively large space does not admit the presence of the public as long as it is approved in leisure events that take place in closed spaces. Or worse, not having any kind of limitation when using public transport and causing greater crowding than would occur at these sports venues.

Similarly, it is obvious that all stadiums do not have the same capacity, so giving an exact figure on the number of fans allowed in each match is a chimera. However, it should be possible to agree on a percentage of spectators who can attend their team’s matches from now on, with the respective places being made available in the stadiums.

Finally, and without leaving aside the complicated situation we are currently experiencing, football provides a respite for its fans, who for ninety minutes seem to forget their troubles and turn their teams’ joys into their own. That is why we are fed up (yes, I include myself) with not having that release. We are aware that this situation has also affected our beloved football, in the form of budget cuts, salary cuts, ERTES, etc. Nevertheless, if both parties can help each other, what could go wrong? We will fill the stadiums as much as they let us and we will participate in the reactivation of a sector that in Spain represents 1. 37% of the GDP, in addition to countless jobs.

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