No fans, no hugging, no spitting. The Bundesliga will be very different when it resumes Saturday following a two-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
There will be no children to accompany players onto the field, no contact between rivals in the tunnel before games, no handshakes with the referee or match officials, substitutes will have to wear masks and sit apart, and even goals in the empty stadiums will be somber affairs — players have been warned to keep their emotions in check, the Associated Press reports.
Coaches will be permitted to remove their masks to shout instructions at their players – as long as they stay at least 1.5 meters (yards) away.
To compensate for the lack of atmosphere, Sky TV says it will offer viewers a new audio option with prerecorded fan chants, singing and reactions based on the games. Borussia Mönchengladbach will have artificial cutouts of real supporters in the stands for its remaining home matches.
The last Bundesliga game was played on March 11 as the virus was beginning to take hold in Germany. Unaware, or perhaps indifferent to the danger, hundreds of Borussia Mönchengladbach fans gathered outside their closed stadium as their team defeated Cologne 2-1. Gladbach players even celebrated with supporters afterward in scenes that authorities are de