2020: An Unprecedented Year!
For many people, 2020 has been one of the most difficult and frustrating years. This year was a series of continuous disasters, especially having the worst pandemic the world has seen in the 21st century. Who would have imagined that at the end of 2019, the terms “lockdown” and “social distancing” would be the most used. The unknown Covid-19 virus that we first heard of on the final days of 2019, was declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020.
Today, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives, when we once thought we had time for everything, we ended up with time for nothing, except for the virus.
The global pandemic has hit the entire world. Many countries have placed restrictions on travel and movement. Europe has suffered greatly as a result and Sports have been hit hard this year, in particular, Football.
As major events take place indoors or in closed environments, with thousands of people attending, bans have been imposed on games and tournaments.
Matches played in the Champions League and European leagues were held behind closed doors. Fans were not allowed to attend. The UEFA has immediately begun postponing football tournaments. For three months, there were no football games to look forward to, something that did not happen since the end of World War II. The cancellations began in February 2020 and have increased all the way to the summer. As players began testing positive for the virus, like Paulo Dybala and Callum Hodson-Odoi to name a few, major tournaments were delayed. Italy was the first big footballing nation to get hit severely by the virus, after the famous Atalanta vs Valencia game in the Champions League that was played behind closed doors. As a result, football players had to live through three-months quarantines without practicing the beautiful game.
During the month of May, Germany took the first step in bringing football back. And on the 15h, football fans gathered behind their screens to watch Dortmund play Schalke. A game that doesn’t induce such excitement under ordinary circumstances.
At the beginning of summer, the lockdowns showed positive results in a gradual decline in the number of new Covid cases in Europe and therefore loosening some of the restrictions. Major leagues took place again finally, but with safety precautions:
- Prohibiting contact between players in the tunnel before the games
- No handshakes with the referee or match officials
- No children to accompany players to the field.
- Players were told not to spit, celebrate in groups, or touch hands with teammates or opponents.
- Soccer balls have to be disinfected
- No fans were allowed or in some cases, Limitations have been put in place on the number of fans attending.
These measures were necessary, even though they were difficult to go by because football is a contact game, players tried their best to apply them in order to set an example to their fans.
Since little to no fans were allowed to attend the games, they were able to watch their favorite teams play again, from the comfort of their homes. The love and passion for this game are so strong that not even a pandemic would change that. The excitement was back, the thrill was back. But the exhilaration was not the same! “Football without fans is nothing”, a banner in Monchengladbach stated during one of their matches, and we couldn’t agree more!
Football is played for the fans, and we at Fly-Foot believe that.
We miss the stadiums, we miss the trips, we miss the experience and we miss mostly YOU! The Fans!
We are still here, you are still here and we will celebrate together the New Year and look forward to a powerful comeback. We look forward to 2021 not only because we know it’s going to be better but also because we believe it will! Life will resume, football will resume and soon enough, you will hear fans cheering from the stadiums, celebrating on the streets and at their favorite bars. And finally, we can’t wait for you to “Pick your game & pack your bag”!