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COVID fears prompt major Bavarian stadiums decision in update that may worry Liverpool fans 😬
Bayern Munich, amongst two other Bundesliga outfits in the Bavarian region, is set to play its home games behind closed doors for the foreseeable future
With COVID-19 cases coming back with a vengeance in Germany, Bavaria’s Prime Minister, Markus Söder, has taken precautionary measures in instructing the region’s outfits to play behind closed doors.
“Bavaria's proposal for football: There should be no spectators in the professional leagues by the end of the year,” the 54-year-old noted in a tweet.
“When Christmas markets are closed, full stadiums are inconsistent.
“We are proposing this across Germany and will definitely implement it in Bavaria. The goal: reduce contacts.”
The measures in question will affect Bundesliga sides Bayern Munich, FC Augsburg and SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
The response to the surge in cases has yet to be replicated nationally, though one might expect Germany to follow suit if matters escalate.
As far as Europe at large is concerned, there’s certainly an increased risk of closures (at the very least partially), with the UK potentially set to follow down the line should the situation similarly deteriorate.
It will very much depend on how the arrival of the Omicron variant affects the transmission rate of the virus, with the possibility of another lockdown not beyond the realm of reality.
There’s no questioning the fact that it will bring back uncomfortable memories for Liverpool fans of a dire home run following our injury crisis in the backline last term, with an empty Anfield proving to be quite the opposite of motivational.
Even with injuries this season starting to settle down, with the likes of Joe Gomez and Naby Keita close to team training returns, there’s no telling the kind of detrimental impact the lack of home fans could have on the remainder of our season.
[Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold watch on as Ashley Barnes scores Burnley’s winner at Anfield to end Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home streak]
That being said, it’s critical that we do prioritise precautionary measures where necessary should it become clear that we are on a similar trajectory to mainland Europe.
The value of a brief lockdown - combined with necessary additional measures - certainly can’t be understated, however, and we at EOTK Insider have no doubt that fans within and beyond the borders of Merseyside will support actions taken to prevent the spread of a potentially more deadly variant.
Football may be so much more than a matter of life and death, as Bill Shankly once famously uttered, but when it comes to the wellbeing of those who watch the game and millions more - football must take a backseat again, if it is deemed necessary by medical professionals, in order to stem the tide of another surge in cases.
Should push come to shove, Liverpool and the Premier League should follow Bavaria’s example and lead the way for the country.
We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that our historically unreliable government does the right thing, should the time come.
If not, the English top-flight would be well-advised to compensate for a potential lack of backbone from our political leadership as we near the end of the year.
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