About 8,000 people – all with COVID-19 checked – were present at the stadium to watch Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur.
The feeling was almost old at Wembley on Sunday as the 8,000 crowd watching Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur in English football’s League Cup final – the most attended event at a sporting event in the UK Britain since the COVID-19 pandemic started more than a year ago.
As part of the UK government’s Event Research Program (ERP), the final was used as a pilot event to test the safe return of supporters.
And while the 2,000 authorized fans from each club, plus 4,000 local residents, looked a bit out of place amid the vast expanse of the 90,000-seat stadium, the sound they put on was an excitement. .
For over a year, British stadiums were silent, except for a brief moment late last year when small crowds were allowed in advance of the deadly revival of COVID-19.
It was an unpleasant time for the match, with fans forced to watch at home from their sofas with an artificial crowd effect pumped in to create a sense of normality.
But the sound of the fans singing their songs at Wembley offers hope for a better time ahead as the UK vaccine rollout continues to reduce deaths and micro- infections. withdraw.
Man City fans were cornered in one corner while Tottenham was on the other end. There are also 4,000 local residents and NHS workers participating in the game.
To get into Wembley, fans must take a lateral flow coronavirus test at a designated location 24 hours prior to the match and present evidence of a negative result.
They must also do two home PCR tests – one before the match and 5 days after that.
When everyone gathered outside the stadium, the mood was very good with some rival fans joining together to protest. The European Football Championship is now over.
City and Tottenham are two of six English clubs that have announced plans to join six Spanish and Italian giants to form the new league last week.
Step inside the old rituals begin after a profound performance of a national anthem from 92 NHS workers played on Wembley’s giant video screen.
As was frequently repeated this earthquake week for the sport following the Super League defeat, the game was nothing short of fanless.
Both sets quickly return to the old groove.
The announcement of the respective starting lineup was booed by the opposing fans, while there was a lot of harsh language targeting the opposing players and match officials after the game had started.
Aymeric Laporte’s header set victory for Man City and their fans saw the players in the corner after the trophy was handed to captain Fernandinho – a delight that surged after dark months evening of the past year.
Obviously what support meant for Man City’s players when they joined the club’s song Blue Moon.
City midfielder Riyad Mahrez summarized the mood.
“They made a big difference, 8,000 people are amazing and we want more of them back,” he said.
For Tottenham supporters, however, it was another disappointment and the continuation of the title drought that stretched back to 2008.
About 21,000 fans are expected to be at the FA Cup final next month while Wembley hopes to have at least 22,500 at the eight Euro 2020 matches it will host this year.