Face masks, social distance celebrations, social distancing on the bench, no fans, at times total silence but well football is football at least it was something..!
For those of us who were just hungry for any competitive sport didn’t mind! Despite that, there was a lot of curiosity in the build up especially on how Germany as a country and the Bundesliga were going to handle the drastic changes especially in football, a contact sport! It was the litmus test for other leagues who have decided to go on with their season and the world was waiting. Well personally I thought it was a success considering..
These were the scenes in the first professional football match-between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke since the Corona pandemic and well it was not what we are used to. It was evident from the start of this match that we were on uncharted waters- no mascots, no handshakes, no deafening cheering from the yellow wall (we all know how loud it can get even when watching on TV especially during a derby!!) and well face masks everywhere!
Match fitness was another factor during this restart with players being out for almost two months! Erling Haaland stole the show again as Dortmund looked the part-they were the better team! The match did not lack intensity despite the absence of crowd noise. Thomas Delaney was booked for a fierce flying elbow on Suat Serdar in the first half to affirm that this is still a contact sport with a competitive edge. All 4 goals were beautiful but well the celebrations on the other hand well…we are used to players running towards each other, piggyback rides, others huddling on the corner stacking together, synchronized dancing and hugs but instead we now have the social distancing celebrations!
In the end Dortmund played really well and goals from Haaland, Guerreiro and T.Hazard cemented a 4-0 win against their rivals. Well the post match interview was also bizarre to say the least with the interviewer and coach two meters apart and the microphone covered in a plastic sheet!
As we look forward to other leagues returning, the Bundesliga just painted a picture of the new normal in football and other sports amid the Covid 19 pandemic.
On the other hand as football fans well, at least football is back and we will adapt!!!