The fast ongoing spread of Covid-19 virus meant that by mid-March 2020, the government had stopped outdoor sports events from being played in England. Ever since then football has resumed behind closed doors with no spectators in the stadiums. Should football fans be allowed to return to attend, matches is now the question of many debates. One research shows that indoor events seem to increase the virus’s spread, but what about outdoor events?
Every year, millions of fans between August and May attend football matches in their local area, and about 10% also travel as “away” fans. Usually, these fans are sectioned off in a separate area of the stands, but often travel on the same trains and buses and go to the same bars and restaurants as the home fans.
After arrival at the venue, fans in bigger stadiums will often enter through a system before getting filtered in and out of the stadium through meeting places where they also often gather around at half-time. Still, if the virus is more likely to spread indoors than outdoors, it also seems likely that all these indoor processes related to football watching will increase the virus’s spread.
Expectations For The Future
Although many fans would love to watch their favourite clubs from the stadium, chances are, it’s not happening soon. In fact, as many transfers & unpredicted events are happening in the Premier League, this season will indeed be fun to watch; of course, from home.
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What The Past Has Shown Us
A football matches database has been compiled from the 2019/20 season, and it covered nine tiers of football leagues. These included the top four divisions plus the network of non-league competitions. Here we can mention that until the government stopped sports outdoors in mid-March, the attendance at football matches across England continued despite Covid-19 cases increasing.
Games that were being played include the League Cup Final at Wembley and the European Champions League tie between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. To get into more detail matches up and down the country involving both large and smaller clubs continued to take place with, for instance, a total of 180 matches took place March 7 and 42 on March 14.
What Are The Results?
These thorough analyses have shown that one football match can result in an additional six Covid-19 cases for every 100 000 people. Once the restrictions were added, the impact on cases did not vary by how full the stadium – a stadium being 20% full had the same effect, as if it was 90% full.
Taking these results into consideration, fans will probably have a hard time attending games anytime soon. Whether it’s Liverpool, Manchester United, or any other team in the Premier League, you can still watch it from home and have a great time.