Twitter poll: European football restarts sans the crowd, is the thrill gone?

Barcelona and Sevilla football players play to an empty Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium during a Spanish league match in Seville on June 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 20 June 2020

Twitter poll: European football restarts sans the crowd, is the thrill gone?

DUBAI: Professional European football leagues are back into action after being sidelined for weeks after the coronavirus interruption.

Even Spain and Italy, two of worst hit countries, have resumed club competitions amid lingering concerns about the safety of everybody, from players to fans, prompting organizers to hold matches behind closed doors.

The strict policy of playing matches in empty stadiums, with only cardboard cutouts of supporters providing mute support to their favorite clubs, have raised questions whether experience of the world’s beautiful game have been diminished.

Over half of those polled by Arab News, or 51 percent, think the lack of a crowd has somewhat dampened the thrill of European football while over 35 percent were just happy that their favorite sport was back. The rest of, meanwhile, have yet to see if the lack of loyal fans could diminish the thrill of the game.

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TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

Updated 07 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

  • Saudi Arabia's infection rate is similar to UK, Egypt is even lower
  • Poll reveals Arab News readers believe quarantine rule is unjust

DUBAI: The UK government’s decision to not include people traveling from any Arab nations in its waiving of the coronavirus quarantine requirements is unjust according to an Arab News Twitter poll.

The recent announcement that it was lifting quarantine requirements for people arriving in England from 59 different countries failed to include any Arab nations, despite many having significantly lower COVID-19-related fatality rates and similar proportions of infections.

Of the 1,039 people who took part in the poll, 56 percent said they did not believe that the United Kingdom’s decision was justified, while 27.3 percent said they did.

According to more than 15 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases lead to a fatality in the UK, while in the UAE that number was significantly lower at 0.62 percent, and in Saudi Arabia 0.91 percent.

People traveling from the countries not included in the list of 59 will still be required to self-quarantine on arrival into the UK for two weeks.

The UK currently has an infection rate of approximately 0.42 percent of its total population, while in France the rate is at 0.25 percent and Germany a slightly lower 0.23 percent – both the latter countries are included in the exemption list.


But Saudi Arabia’s infection rate is currently at 0.61 percent of its total population, Egypt is at 0.075 percent and Tunisia even lower at 0.01 percent – and yet none of these countries are included.

The UAE which has a significantly lower population  of less than 10 million, has an infection rate of 2.88 percent.

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