The fix is late. We crane our necks, squint our eyes and pace about as we wait impatiently. The urge is growing stronger by the second as our minds wonder momentarily in nostalgia, recalling our previous highs and how we got lost in glory and despondency, almost in equal measure. Not too sure if it’s the heart or mind that is desperately in need, but we just need IT.
A stream of constant supply was cut without prior notice and consumers left wallowing in the sink holes of withdrawal symptoms, clutching at every straw as they tried to save themselves from that sinking feeling. With eyes fixed in the heavens, we hope for divine intervention. It feels like an eternity. In an era of socializing via media, suddenly, social distancing feels weird though mandatory.
For a while, we will miss the yellow wall of Signal Iduna Park, the choruses of the Anfield faithful, the changing tales of a City Untied but distinctly sundered, the classico passions of Spanish matadors and the gladiator battles of Rome.
Football without fans is like dancing with your sister. Don’t quote me, ask Luis Enrique. There is an eerie feeling to this temporary norm. The lack of emotional connection between fans and players has sapped out the life of this beautiful game. As always, the game is fighting back and finding ways to circumvent this historical hurdle. From incorporating sound systems that mimic crowds to having mascots in the stands, various clubs across the globe are doing their best to simulate the presence of fans in stadiums.
The resumption of the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A, not to demean them in any way, have served as a proper and adequate warm-up for the English Premier League. In Kenya, fans can’t wait to have a taste of their weekly dosage of the EPL. As if the “gods” had known, the return of competitive football in England starts with a blockbuster tie when the Citizen, the blue half of Manchester and defending champions face Arsenal, the most successful London club in the premier league era. Mikel Arteta will be facing his former boss, Pep Guardiola. Though considered a proper modern era clash, the absence of fans performing the Poznan or the Arsenal die hard singing their throats hoarse, will water down the encounter. Effervesces that is associated the tie is lost in the echoes of instruction from coaches and encouragement from teams in empty stadiums.
It is almost here. Goosebumps galore as senses are heighten. It may not be what we are used to but THIS IS IT!…………. IS IT?
Author: Jectan Oitang’or
Head of Sports & Fitness, Fursa Africa
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