German Bundesliga Returned Without Fans And It Was A Weird Scene


May 16, 2020

The German Bundesliga on Saturday became the first of the major European soccer leagues to make a return after the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports across the globe, but it didn’t exactly pick up where it left off.

Things looked a little different because, of course, resuming the season amid COVID-19 concerns means extra precautions were taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Especially after a few of its players tested positive for the virus leading up to the first matchday since March.

Between not having fans and social distancing efforts, the welcomed return of the Bundesliga was also a bit of a weird scene.

Let’s just say, elite European soccer is just not the same without fans. Especially a league that’s normally so accessible to fans, as the Bundesliga is. Rather than the sound of chants and vuvuzelas from the crowd, you could hear echos of the players communication on the field loud and clear.

Still, as tradition, after Borussia Dortmund defeated Schalke 04, its players played tribute to the “Yellow Wall,” or the would-be section of their fans behind the goal that would be there during normal times.

Maybe it wasn’t the same without fans, but it sure beats nothing at all. Admittedly, rebroadcasts of games only move the needle so much. For soccer fans, there’s really nothing like posting up on the couch with a cup of coffee for a Saturday morning of futebol.

And while things were different from a fan perspective, imagine being one of the players or staffers in attendance?

On the bench were reserves from every team donning face masks and sitting a few feet apart from each other. And post-game media interviews weren’t your usual scrum of reporters suffocating players with their recorders.

Social distancing efforts led to some pretty strange goal celebrations, too, with elbow bumps and awkward dancing.

The social distancing celebration thing seemed a little strange to some fans, especially the ones being reminded that soccer is very much a contact sport.

The good news is, the bizarreness continues Sunday and Monday with three more matches, so maybe we’ll get used to sports during COVID-19 times soon.

Watch Dortmund Keep Tradition, Salute ‘Yellow Wall’ In Empty Stadium

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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