Monday , 6 February 2023
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The world was watching

After nearly three months of lockdown, sports-starved fans from around the world had their eyes glued to the football game that unfolded at Dortmund Germany’s 80,000-seat Signal Iduna Park, eerily empty.

 Erling Haaland carried on where he left off before the coronavirus suspension as the teenager kicked off Borussia Dortmund’s thumping victory against rivals Schalke 04 in an entertaining, if surreal, return to Bundesliga action.

Rigorous hygiene protocols and regular testing in a country that has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than some others meant the German top-flight became the first major league to return to action.

Raphael Guerreiro’s brace and Thorgan Hazard’s strike sealed the thumping win against David Wagner’s men in this ‘geisterspiel’ – ghost game – at the mammoth Signal Iduna Park.

Millions of extra viewers joined players and stakeholders from leagues across the world in tuning into the resumption of action on what was supposed to be the final weekend of the Bundesliga season. After obliterating local rivals 4-0 in an empty stadium, Dortmund players salute their famed Yellow Wall which would have been packed with 25,000 delirious fans revelling in their team’s dominance. An eerie and haunting moment filled with love and a sense of what has been lost.

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