Soccer…with mannequins in the stands?
As you well know, soccer has been on hold in just about every country on earth. However, there are a few exceptions. In Belarus, one team is going to extraordinary lengths to recreate not only the playing experience, but the fan atmosphere. But how can they do it while maintaining a suitable distance between fans and making sure masses of people don’t congregate?
In Belarus, the answer is putting mannequins in the stands with pictures of fans on the faces. Is this weird? Yeah. Is this unnerving? A little bit. However, it is a step in the right direction. In order for someone’s face to end up on a mannequin, they have to buy a virtual ticket. The team, defending champions, Dynamo Brest, has announced that all proceeds will go to efforts fighting COVID-19.
Honestly, the decision by the Belarussian FA to resume play this soon has definitely garnered a lot of criticism and stirred up tons of controversy. However, this plan to sell virtual tickets, while a little off the beaten path, is a terrific, good-faith way to show that their priorities are in the right place.
However, what they do next will be key. How will they go about the process of reintroducing actual fans? I don’t think it can happen for a matter of months, but this is a truly ingenious, if slightly creepy way of reintroducing fans to The Beautiful Game.