The Supercup was invented to answer a question that basically no longer arises. The Dutch journalist Anton Witkamp had the idea in 1972 to determine the definitely best team in Europe in a game between the winners of the European championship and cup winners; Ajax Amsterdam won the first edition. The cup is now played between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League, two competitions that have long been incomparable in terms of prestige and value. When Bayern and Sevilla FC face each other in Budapest, the first thing to do is to answer another question. And this time not only is it pretty unnecessary to pose, this time it’s also dangerous.
In European football, can spectators return to the stadium? To find out, Uefa selected the game a month ago as a kind of pilot project: around 30 percent of the Puskás arena can be full, which corresponds to around 20,000 people. The fact that the association wants to test at some point how games with fans from different nations can work during the pandemic is understandable, even if people are sitting in the stands again in league operations. But now Budapest is a risk area, defined as such by the Robert Koch Institute, with an incidence number of more than 100. That is about double the factor in Munich, where the ranks had to remain empty on the first day of the game and remain empty for the time being – and where From this Thursday on, stricter rules will apply again, for example a mask requirement in the pedestrian zone. As understandable as the Uefa idea was once, it is now so nonsensical to stick to it stubbornly.
FC Bayern even pointed out a warning from the Foreign Office
The association says that all safety precautions are being taken. But even those who recently showed understanding now see things a little differently. Fans who wanted to travel from Munich are canceling their tickets in droves, even since Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder announced the tightening of quarantine rules on the occasion of the Supercup. Even Bayern’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who emphasized his understanding for the plans on Sunday, now chose his words differently: “I think everyone has a stomachache.” The club even pointed out a warning from the Foreign Office “against unnecessary tourist trips” to Budapest.
There, in Hungary’s capital, the green-liberal Lord Mayor Gergely Karácsony has spoken out in favor of a game without spectators. However, he also said: “The responsibility rests with those who have the power to make decisions.” These are Uefa President Aleksander Čeferin and Hungary’s right-wing national Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is expected as a guest of honor at the game, as is Sándor Csányi, Hungary’s head of the association, who sits on the Uefa Executive Committee as Vice President.
How controversial the role of the association is, underlined the speech of Porto’s mayor, who threatened to file a lawsuit. The game was withdrawn from his city – with a high level of infection as the reason.