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The stark contrasts in European football

WFull stadiums in the English Premier League, zero spectators in the Netherlands and Austria: According to the current incidence figures in the corona pandemic, there are huge differences in European football leagues in dealing with audience restrictions. FAZ.NET summarizes the respective situation:

England: Here you can continue to play in front of full spectators. According to the rules of the Premier League, stadium visitors must prove a vaccination or convalescence status or submit a corona test that is not older than 48 hours. The decision as to who is allowed into the stadium and who is not ultimately rests with the clubs themselves.

The full number of tickets can also be sold for the Darts World Championship in London, which begins in December. After the 2020 tournament had to take place without an audience, up to 3000 spectators can celebrate in Alexandra Palace. It seems unlikely that fans would worry about masks or the safety distance when consuming a lot of beer.

Italy: According to the FIGC football association, the stadiums have so far been allowed to be 75 percent full. On December 6th, however, further regulations will come into force that Mario Draghi’s government had already decided at the end of November. From then on, the 2-G rule applies to the fans, only those who can be proven to have been vaccinated or recovered are allowed in. With regard to compulsory vaccination for football professionals, there have been no further advances so far. This is “a very sensitive topic,” said a FIGC spokesman for the German press agency.

Association president Gabriele Gravina had previously brought a compulsory vaccination into play. After a meeting of the association’s board, he said that this option was possible in the fight against Corona. Around four to five percent of professionals still have no valid vaccination certificate – also because they had received a vaccine that is not recognized in the EU.


Masks? Far from seeing everyone here in Liverpool as necessary.
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Image: EPA

Spain: Despite rising corona numbers, there are no specific restrictions for sporting events. Ghost games in football are not planned. The seven-day incidence is currently just under 120. However, the Corona Pass (3-G rule) is becoming mandatory for visiting restaurants, nightspots and larger indoor events in more and more regions of the country. This should also affect indoor sports. Seven out of 17 communities, which roughly correspond to German federal states, have already decided to do so, only three have ruled out such a measure for the time being. In view of a vaccination rate of almost 80 percent, an obligation to present a corona passport should not have any dramatic consequences.

France: Ligue 1 is concerned about the increasing number of infections. Since Friday there has been a mask requirement again in the stadiums, but there is still no discussion about reduced audience numbers. As the government recently stated, the population should be protected from the spread of the virus, but training and competition in sports should be maintained. A mask requirement also applies to athletes in the arenas as soon as they do not participate in the sport.

Switzerland: The 3-G rule applies to major sporting events. However, the government has proposed a tightening that could come into force next week: then masks would have to be worn indoors such as ice hockey rinks. In football stadiums, the 3-G rule applies from 1,000 spectators. This limit is to be lowered to 300. This decision should be made on Friday.

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