On Thursday's return from the Danish Super League, AGF Aarhus installs screens in the field for fans to cheer on live via Zoom; 50 moderators will monitor their behavior
It is time for a pandemic and for stadiums closed to the public. But forget the canned chants. Also the cardboard silhouettes or the plastic dolls. Even recreations of spectators. The solution so that the fan can intervene directly in the match while the soccer player, in addition to hearing what the fan says can see it out of the corner of his eye, has been found by the AGF Aarhus of Denmark. It is simply a matter of placing screens in the stands of the field where fans will be able to say theirs from their homes through the Zoom video call platform. To be without being. In short, a future that is already present.
It is the first time that something like this has been done in the world of sports. We have already been contacted by clubs from other countries in Europe to be interested. Sren Hjlund Carlsen, one of the project coordinators, attends EL MUNDO via telephone while finalizing the details of the premiere.
AGF Aarhus faces Randers FC in the afternoon of Thursday in the game with which the Danish Super League is resumed after two months without professional football in the country. All the remaining matches until the end of the season will be behind closed doors, but Aarhus have not given up on the fans. So it has installed in its stadium, Ceres Park, several screens that are linked in a single 40×3 meters that runs through 20 sectors of the stands. There will be a section for local fans, another for neutrals, and another for those of the opposing team . There fans will appear that, once the place has been reserved -without any cost-, will be able to connect directly to the game through Zoom. Yes, the platform founded by the Chinese entrepreneur Eric Yuan, who became the world standard for video calls during the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 10,000 fans, 200 at a time
Carlsen assures that they are and 10,000 people who have reserved their place to attend the game virtually. Although we hope to reach 12,000, it intervenes. During the meeting, the screens will allow the joint appearance of up to 200 fans, who will rotate as the meeting progresses . Meanwhile, footballers will be able to see and hear them while playing. Even celebrate goals in front of the screens in search of virtual heat. The players are excited, Carlsen says.
Even the promoters of the initiative have thought about television broadcasting. The screens are located in the stands in front of the cameras, so they can be aimed at fans .
And what would happen if any fan were to insult from home? display offensive messages? Carlsen replies: Of course we have thought about it, and the reaction will be the same as we would have in an open game. Instead of security guards, we will have 50 moderators who will be responsible for monitoring behavior . From a large room they will be dedicated to monitoring the spectators so that, for example, there are neither obscenities nor racist insults. Or so that nobody takes off their clothes. In other words, the same rules apply as in the stadium. Whoever breaks the rules will be expelled from the digital meeting by the moderators.
At AGF Aarhus they still don't know if the idea will have continuity. They will try it this Thursday and, if the experience turns out positive, they will repeat it in their meeting next Monday against Odense: This is only a temporary solution. Actually, we all want fans to return to the fields. It is as it should be.
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