Sports-starved British fans tune into German football as it restarts
It wasn’t the Premier League and the stands were empty. But it was a live match – at last
It wasn’t Liverpool vs Manchester United or Arsenal vs Spurs. But it was live football. After a two-month coronavirus shutdown, that was good enough for many match-starved fans. The German Bundesliga yesterday became the first major league to resume, with five games played behind closed doors, including a Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. The restart was a moment that fans, administrators, TV bosses and politicians hope will prove a first morale-boosting step towards normality.
From Dortmund, BT Sport’s coverage panned round a cavernous and virtually empty Westfalenstadion. Substitutes perched on seats two metres apart wearing face masks, while the players’ shouts echoed eerily. The fans were missing, and they were missed.