reasons behind empty football stadiums seats

4 Astonishing Reasons Behind Empty Football Stadium Seats

Italian football is one of the hardest hit of the recent coronavirus scare. And players are about to play on empty stadiums.

Antonio Conte, Inter boss, said, “Empty stadiums aren’t beautiful.”

Clubs are taking the matter on their own hands. Inter will refund fans who already bought the ticket. Juventus will not do so even for season ticket holders. 

These situations are unprecedented. There were several instances when the clubs play empty seats upon empty seats on what appeared to be the biggest stadiums.

Below are some of the reasons behind those unfortunate events.

1) Ticket prices

Juventus had never played on a jampacked home stadium. Selling ~pricey~ tickets is the main struggle, selling up to €160 (£140) apiece. It has always been like this even before Cristiano Ronaldo started playing for the Juve.

The fans are not happy, staging silent protests by skipping the matches on several occasions. It resulted in the rift between the team and the ultras.

2) Location

The club is known for leaving the 70,000-capacity Stadio Delle Alpi for a 41,000-capacity stadium in 2006. It was purposely built to become the club’s home stadium in 2011.

Where the stadium was built is another issue. It is located in Turin, near Milan, where the majority of season ticket holders live. Also, Turin is not Milan—it’s not as touristy as the latter.

3) Seating error

In 2019, in what had been called the most-watched Women’s World Cup, the mistake made with the seating arrangements resulted in an almost empty stadium.

Fans learned a few moments before the actual tournament that would be seated separately from their families and friends. Some parents would even seat a section away from their children.

FIFA recalled the tickets and reissued the right ones. Adding insult to injury, some fans were unaware of the changes while holding onto their original tickets. They were refused entry until reprints are issued. They missed pretty much the first half of the games and festivities. 

Not to mention the expensive ticket prices that nobody wants to buy. FIFA was forced to “allocate” tickets to the fans. That’s on top of the 16% of the total ticket counts as complimentary.

Needless to say, it lacked the atmosphere FIFA used to boast about on posters.

4) Lack of support

In 2019, Arena Gremio was too empty to ignore—it was aa 67,000-capacity stadium.

Sao Paolo captain, Daniel Alves, pointed out clubismo tribalism and the lack of unity between the clubs and the fans as the main culprits. 

Alves was unsure if it was because of ticket prices, although Thiago Silva, his teammate, was particular about lowering the expensive ticket prices. Tickets cost €51.97 (£44.50) on average, and yet only 20% of the seats were sold.

True enough, Copa América ticket prices are disproportionate with that of the Women’s World Cup prices. Prices are indeed for the elites.

LANCE! Editor, Valdomiro Neto, said that this was a clear demonstration of “excessive greed.” This is especially true since the value of real, Brazil’s local currency, diminished since the 2015 recession.

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What are the other possible reasons football fans chose to skip the match? We’ll wait for your answers.

funniest things that stopped a football match

6 Funniest Things that Stopped a Football Match

Things happen, and a football match isn’t spared from fun moments.

Here are some of the funniest things to ever stop a match.

A chicken wearing the club crest

Angry Blackburn Rovers fans released a chicken onto the pitch in protest against the club’s owner who happened to be in the poultry business. 

The chicken was even dressed up wherein the club crest could be seen by everyone watching the spectacle. Security had quite a runaround that day.

A black cat and its purrfect crime

Do you know what they say about coming across a black cat? Bad luck!  

However, there was nothing unfortunate about what happened in a match between Heracles and FC Groningen in a 2013 Eredivisie game. A feline was seen trundling onto the pitch. The scoreless match became a comedic sight.

No one dared touch the cat. The players waited for the cat to leave the ground before the game continued. 

A football-chasing pooch

It must’ve been an enticing football—the ball, not the game—for this dog to run into the pitch and chase the ball.

The game was typical until that incident. The players went on to trap the dog, but they failed. Then, Jimmy Greaves distracted the dog by going down on all fours and mimicking its actions.

It happened during the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Brazil where Garrincha and Pele both played.

A rushed paint job

This occurred in 1977 on a game between Manchester City and Derby County. During those times, how the pitch looked was very different from how they look today. No manicured green lawns then.

The said game was played on dried mud that made the penalty spot disappeared. When a Derby player was about to do a penalty kick, he did not know where to put the ball. 

A man holding a bucket of paint, brush, and a measuring tape came to the rescue and painted the spot right on.

A dashing pine marten

The small and furry creature ran abruptly onto the field during a game between Zurich and FC Thun. It ran around for over 5 minutes, and the players and security failed to capture him.

A Zurich player tried, but the pine marten bit him. This animal is known for its incredible speed and sharp teeth. 

Then, the goalkeeper stepped in to capture the weasel-like creature using his gloves.

A political drone

This is not funny, but it did stop the football game anyway. And it was the game between Serbia and Albania, who were not historically the best political allies.

It happed in October 2016 during a qualifying match. In the 41st minute of the game, a drone came down, carrying an Albanian flag. The banner also depicted the disputed territory between the two countries. 

Pitch battles ensued soon after Stefan Mitrovic snatched the drone down. The brawl involved not just the players and substitutes, but also stewards and fans.

Both teams abandoned the match, but Serbia was awarded the winner due to a 3-0 score.

The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) also perceived this as a political provocation, and the two teams were investigated for the incident. 

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Do you know other funny football moments you’d like to share with us? Please do so.

best football stories

6 of the Best and Strangest Football Stories

Football is all sorts of fantastic and bizarre at times. At times, you’d be surprised that events like these actually transpired several years ago.

Below are some of the best, yet the strangest, football stories of all time.

1) Celery chant

You have to thank the Chelsea fans for being the most creative (despite the inappropriateness of the language) when it comes to chants.

Chelsea fans are said to bring celery to Stamford Bridge for several decades now because of this chant. 

However, in 2007, the club issued a statement forbidding the fans from bringing the veggie to the Bridge. It was outlawed and considered as “dangerous.” 

Anyone caught doing will be punished with a refusal of entry and lifetime ban.

Fans were also encouraged to report any fan seen carrying celery. A dedicated hotline was on standby. All reports were treated as confidential.

2) A minute of silence

Teams honour fans who passed away. So in 1993, the oldest fan of Congleton of the HFS Loans League was reported dead a week before. The team mourned his death before playing the match.

The minute of silence was halted midway when the fan walked right into his silence memorial. The public relations department of the club immediately cancelled the memorial.

3) One versus one

The Isles of Scilly Football League was once considered as the smallest league worldwide.

It has two teams, namely Woolpack Wanderers and Garrison Gunners. For the entire season that is composed of 17 games, they had to play one another.

There were other Cups, called the Foredeck and Wholesalers. Both Cups were played by, yes, you guessed it right, the Wanderers and the Gunners!

4) Same team names

Some football players’ names are challenging to pronounce. That’s true.

However, in one almost cosmic turn of events, the 20 players from both clubs have the same names. They were all named Bungay. The match happened in Bungay, Suffolk as well.

It was astounding as there were only 500 people in the United Kingdom with the surname Bungay.

No, they have nothing to do with bunga-bunga Silvio Berlusconi. 

5) The 10-minute manager

Coaches are an embodiment of their respective club. Their experiences are definitely different, however.

Some coached a club for several decades such as Sir Alex Ferguson—he was a constant fixture at Old Trafford. Arsene Wenger was with the Arsenal for 15 seasons. 

This cannot be said for Leroy Rosenoir, though. He was a club coach appointee for only 10 minutes. Rosenoir was told that Torquay United, the club he was supposed to head, had been taken over.

6) A bomb on the field

Amateur football players played on the pitch that was later discovered to cover an unexploded German bomb. It was a World War II bomb found in April 1995 in Portland, Dorset. It was discovered by quarrymen.

About 4,000 residents were evacuated while the technicians, a 10-man Royal Engineers bomb disposal squad, disable the bomb weighing 1,100 lbs.

No one got hurt. Thus, it was regarded as the most prominent peacetime bomb disposal activity in Great Britain.

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Do you want to add in the list of the best football stories of all time? Please do—we are waiting!