Football Article

Russian Football Ready to Buck the Trend on Fans

Russian Football Ready to Buck the Trend on Fans Photo: TT
Russia ready to buck the trend on fans

Russia has decided to back the trend and allow fans back into stadiums when their Premier League season starts again next month, albeit on a limited basis, That is despite the country having the third highest number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus nearly 380,000 after the USA and Brazil.

Earlier this week though, President Vladimir Putin told the nation that the peak of the crisis had passed.

Elsewhere in the world, where football has been allowed to resume, it is under the strict understanding the games must be played behind closed doors, with fans strictly prohibited from attending matches for fear of catching, and transmitting, the deadly virus.

However, after pressure from the Russian football association, a compromise has been agreed with the body in the country responsible for consumer health, which will allow spectators to occupy 10% of the seats in a stadium, on an initial basis at least. That figure is deemed to be the safe number of fans which can be admitted whilst, at the same time, observing norms on social distancing.

Dimitry Chernyshenko, the countrys Deputy Prime Minister, argues that fans in stadiums are an essential emotional element of football.

The outcome will be closely watched elsewhere in the rest of the world, where matches behind closed doors not only for football but also for many other types of sport are expected to become the norm for months, and even years, to come.

Another country which is hoping to get fans back into grounds again, although not immediately is Spain. The President of their Sports Council, Irene Lozano, believes that, if the health situation in her country continues to improve at its current rate, then spectators might begin to be allowed back by the autumn.

Again that would be on a limited basis to start with, so that fans could be sat sufficiently far apart to maintain social distancing. And they would also need to wear protective equipment like gloves and face masks.

All this adds to the prevailing gradual optimism that surrounds sport and its gradual return after months of gloom during the government lockdowns.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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