The protocols around COVID-19 have silenced fans in the whole of the Premier Soccer League as the business end of the Nedbank Cup, Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship are all staged behind closed door, leaving players missing the beat of the drum, the trumpets and spirit-lifting song and dance in the stands.
Viewers, however, perhaps do not feel the void of empty stadiums much like the players since pay television SuperSport have added the sound effects of fans singing, chanting and reacting to the game, making for some sort of normalcy for those watching at the comforts of their homes.
Those who are in the stadium, the players on the field, those sitting on the bench and the technical team certainly do feel like they are playing in ghost town like Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane has suggested.
“Jingles” says there is a big void that his team felt in the two games that the defending league champions played against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup and Orlando Pirates in the Absa Premiership.
“Football without supporters is not a game,” stressed Mosimane.
“You just feel that silence especially when you observe the moment of silenCE. The 30 seconds before and the 30 seconds after, it is so quiet and you just feel the void left by the supporters, you miss the supporters, football will never be the same without supporters,” said Mosimane.
The show has to go on, however, and Downs’ next assignment is a meeting with top-eight hopefuls Highlands Park on Friday evening at the Orlando Stadium.
“We are just adjusting and we are following the protocols and the rules and regulations because lives matter most. But we cannot wait to hear the drum beat, we are missing it,” Mosimane said.