Dubai: Nothing beats the atmosphere of football matches, but unfortunately due to COVID-19 many leagues around the world have told fans to stay away or allowed stadiums to be half full. The same applies here in the UAE, but now the good atmosphere will return to the UAE Pro League matches, as the capacity inside the stadiums has been increased to 100% in all competitions.
The UAE Pro League, in coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority and the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAE FA), has updated the Entry Protocol for fans in football stadiums and this is great news for fans across the country.
As we all know, a good atmosphere inside a stadium can make the difference both for the players on the pitch and for the spectators in the stands. The boost that a lively crowd gives the home team and the way it can intimidate the opposition can also contribute to success.
Title chasers Al Ain, Al Wahda and Sharjah – who all collected maximum points in Week 15 of the ADNOC Pro League – will be boosted by the news that stadiums can once again be at full capacity. Top-ranked Al Ain are currently six points ahead of second-placed Al Wahda, with Sharjah one place and one point behind, meaning there’s everything to play for and there’s bound to be plenty more twists and turns before the end of the season.
But there is no doubt that the frequency and volume of fan chants and chants accompanied by the roar of drums helps make a football game a real spectacle. The atmosphere this creates certainly makes a difference for the players too and the Al Ain leaders will need support from the stands if they are to retain their league position.
Negative PCR test
The update includes approval of the Green Pass system while fans must present a negative PCR test less than 96 hours before a game. Admission will be permitted to all fans aged 12 and over.
Fans under the age of 12 will be allowed inside stadiums provided they have received the UAE-approved COVID-19 vaccine or present a negative PCR test taken less than 96 hours before the game.
For big games, the atmosphere at most pitches can be spine-shaking, but unfortunately that’s been lacking for too long.
But now things have changed and with fans returning and stadiums at full capacity, we may well see a higher level of player performance on the pitch.