Fans back in Bundesliga fixtures


Bundesliga back with fans Image: Ruhr Nachrichten

For the first time since March, fans graced Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga matches during the weekend after the top-tier football leagues got their 2020-21 seasons underway.

In Germany, fans were present at a number of Bundesliga matches after politicians recently reached an agreement to allow stadium attendance of up to 20 percent capacity across the league.

A considerable presence of fans was there at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany when 9,300 fans watched Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 home win against Borussia Mönchengladbach. It marked Dortmund’s first home match with fans since February 29th.

Dortmund boss Hans-Joachim Watzke thanked fans for their “very responsible demeanor” at the stadium, which the club was able to make ‘COVID-secure’ in a matter of days following the announcement that supporters would be allowed to enter the stadium fold.

Remarked Dortmund Mayor Ullrich Sierau, “Not only did the team play well, but the organization of the club also worked more than well and created great conditions. So, the spectators could not only experience a nice game, but also a safe one. Compliments to the fans for their disciplined behavior in every respect.”

Fans were required to enter and leave Signal Iduna Park at a specified time and maintain social distancing. Seventy-five per cent of fans were residents of Dortmund, with the remaining 25 per cent coming from other cities and communities in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The season got underway on Friday evening with Schalke biting the dust against Bayern Munich (8-0) at Allianz Arena (in Munich, Germany), but sans fans due to a recent spike in local COVID-19 infections. Bayern had reached an agreement to allow 7,500 fans at the 75,000-seat stadium but the Munich Health Department ultimately decided that the match should be a closed door affair looking at the grim coronavirus scenario.

For the other Bundesliga matches, VfB Stuttgart greeted 8,000 fans for its 3-2 home defeat against SC Freiburg at the former’s home venue Mercedes-Benz Arena, while 6,500 watched Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-1 draw against Arminia Bielefeld at the former’s Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany.

Five thousand fans attended Union Berlin’s 3-1 home defeat against Augsburg at An der Alten Försterei Stadium at Köpenick in the German capital Berlin, while 8,500 Werder Bremen supporters watched their team’s 4-1 loss to Hertha Berlin match at the Wohninvest Weserstadion in Bremen, Germany, and the same attendance was recorded for RB Leipzig’s 3-1 victory over Mainz at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany.

FC Köln’s 3-2 home defeat to Hoffenheim went ahead without fans after the COVID-19 rate in the City was viewed as “too high”. Only 500 fans graced VfL Wolfsburg’s 0-0 draw against Bayer Leverkusen at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, due to State guidelines.

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