Qualifier Matches To Test the Return of the Fans
September 14, 2021
Argentina and Brazil have both announced their ideas for using the World Cup qualifier matches to test the waters for bringing fans back into the stadiums.
After COVID-19 hit, sports fans were banned from stadiums all over the world, forcing them to watch their favourite sporting events from home or not at all. The last time that fans were actually allowed inside the stadium in Sao Paolo, Brazil, was in March of 2020.
As we integrate the pandemic into our lives and find ways of navigating this post-covid world, it seems there might be hope on the horizon for the die-hard football fan.
The First Test Match
Mattias Lammens, Argentina’s Sports and Tourism minister, he released a statement saying that the test match for allowing fans back into stadiums would be for the Bolivia vs Argentina match on the 9th of September. The stadium itself can hold up to 70 000 spectators, however they will only be inviting in 30% of this total to start with. The plan is to start small and see how everything unfolds. As any issues arise they will be dealt with and hopefully fans can return to stadiums all over the world sooner than they thought.
Lammens also said that he believes that the Bolivia match is an exciting event because of what it represents. He added that it will give them the opportunity to investigate and evaluate how the health protocols will be implemented and give them the ability to iron out any kinks moving forward.
Fans will only be granted entry into the stadium to watch the game if they can present a negative covid test taken no more than 48 hours ago.
If this test run proves to be a success, then Sao Paulo state will start allowing stadiums to fill up from 1st November. This means that there is a possibility that there could be 60 000 people able to physically attend the F1 Grand Prix at Interlagos on the weekend of the 5th of November.
Premier League May Not Release All Players
The Premier League has stated that it will not be allowing players to travel to international matches hosted in countries on the U.K’s “red list”.
This has some drastic affects for some of the national teams. Brazil will likely not have access to Fabinho, Firmino, and Becker who all play for Liverpool. There is also Manchester United’s Frederico Rodrigues and Chelsea’s Thiago Silva.
Argentina would be missing Emiliano Martinez, and Emiliano Buendia who both play for Aston Villa. There’s also Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero who play for Tottenham who wouldn’t be present.