Despite measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, there has been an increasing number of voices calling for fans to turn away.
Football fans have arrived in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, to participate in the first major European football match open to the public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The final comes as Europe tightens social restrictions for a second wave of the new Corona virus.
Hungary and the European Union will review the health effects of the Super Cup on Thursday evening, which is the traditional opening match of the season played by the European Champions League champions (Bayern Munich) and the European League champions (Seville, Spain).
UEFA president Alexander Ceferin described it as a “pilot project” and said the organization would decide what to do about international soccer matches after the match.
“In principle, it would be us and [Hungarian] The government of course [to evaluate the health effect of the game] “In principle, we trust governments across Europe,” Ceferin told a news conference after a meeting of football leaders in Budapest.
Last month, UEFA announced its decision to allow fewer fans to enter Puskas Square, limiting attendance to about a quarter of the stadium’s 67,000 capacity to ensure social distancing regulations are maintained.
UEFA said on Thursday it had sold 15,500 match tickets.
Fans are expected to maintain an effective distance of 1.5 meters (five feet) where possible, and thermal cameras installed at the entrances will check the body temperature. The wearing of masks is mandatory on the stadium but is “highly recommended” only for fans in their seats.
Despite measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, there has been an increasing number of voices calling for fans to turn away.
Hungarian opposition groups rejected the match, calling it satirical, but the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an avid soccer fan, persisted.
When the city began to shut down large parts of the area around the newer, more modern Puskas Square, fans appeared in the central region that is usually teeming with tourists but is now even more deserted as the epidemic keeps visitors indoors.
Jan Tanni, a Bayern fan who traveled to Budapest for 24 hours to attend the first match he has been allowed to see since March, told Reuters he was not afraid as long as people followed the rules.
He said, “The security concept of the game is good, so I think if you respect the rules and stay 1.5 meters away from other people and avoid the big crowds, then I think there is no problem watching the match.”
Hungary is currently seeing a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, much higher than the COVID-19 numbers recorded in the country earlier this year.
Budapest was designated a “danger zone” by the German government last week due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, Markus Söder, the leader of the state of Bavaria, where Munich is located, warned of the dangers of the coronavirus spreading in the match and told returning fans that they would either be tested or face quarantine.
A European Champions League match in February between Italian team Atlanta and Spain’s Valencia club was blamed as a factor in accelerating the spread of the Coronavirus in Italy.
Some Hungarian football fans viewed Budapest’s hosting of the Super Cup as a golden opportunity to see teams who usually have to travel far and pay huge sums to watch them play.
For Zsolt Ladanyi, president of Bayern Munich’s fan club, going to the match was a no-brainer, and the 33-year-old was taking his 65-year-old father with him.
“It’s actually not more dangerous than going to the supermarket where people can stand very close to you at the exit line,” he told Reuters. “We are really lucky that the game has been relocated to Budapest from its place of origin in Portugal.
“We’ll respect all the rules. I can’t wait to watch the match.”
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