Fans Bemused By Socially Distancing Substitutes As Football Returns In Germany
However, much has changed. Gone are the fans, and the atmosphere, and in their place are things like truncated goal celebrations and social distancing substitutes.
In fact, that last thing has fans talking online, because it just looks bloody weird.
The first game that most football fans have watched in months features two big rivals in Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund.
Having travelled to take part in the Revierderby - one of the biggest fixtures in German football - the Schalke substitutes and their Dortmund hosts were forced to sit by the side of the pitch at a distance of at least two metres in order to maintain social distancing rules.
Fans have been reacting to some of the changes on social media, sharing how strange it seems to have stuff like this in place, particularly when - if they get onto the pitch - they'll just be bashing around with each other anyway.
One person wrote: "Dortmund vs. Schalke's sub benches and the stadium.
"This is beyond weird man..."
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Another person said: "Not sure I'd be keen to be a sub! That bench looks pretty lonely!"
A third person commented: Sat 2m apart on the bench with face masks while there's 24 people running around the pitch with each other."
Not sure that person knows exactly how many people are on a football team, but the point remains a valid one.
It's a bit pointless having socially distanced subs only to send the players on into a full contact game#BundesligaIsBack #RuhrDerby
- Christopher (@stubborn_chris) May 16, 2020
Anyway, despite it being a bit weird, football is back. That can only be a good thing for those of us who've been jonesing for our weekly fix of the beautiful game.
Whilst there is no crowds, and some other strange things, this particular edition of the Revierderby brought some level of familiarity with it.
As the first half wore on, Dortmund started to look like the genuine title challengers that they were before the enforced break, and took the lead through Erling Braut Håland, continuing his frankly incredible scoring record since signing for BVB in January.
So we have subs with masks all socially distanced. Meanwhile on the pitch.....absolutely farcical.
- Fab (@BenButton1969) May 16, 2020
Raphael Guerreiro then made it two at the half with a smart finish.
If this is what it has to be like, and it works, most football fans will probably take the trade off, at least until the grounds can get back open again.
This weekend sees the first action taking place in one of Europe's major leagues after the coronavirus lockdown, and the rest of the world will be watching.
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport