Posted 20 января 2023,, 09:28

Published 20 января 2023,, 09:28

Modified 20 января 2023,, 09:35

Updated 20 января 2023,, 09:35

"Stadiums can be closed!" Russian football is on the edge of a precipice

"Stadiums can be closed!" Russian football is on the edge of a precipice

20 января 2023, 09:28
In addition to the heaviest sanctions troubles, professional football in our country also suffers from its own officials and politicians.

Ivan Zubov

Russian football is not even going through a crisis, but, apparently, a real catastrophe.

Her next testimony is published on the website of the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS): The Russian Premier League took the last place in the ranking of national football championships. 

At the end of 2022, RPL lost 44 positions, dropping from 36th place to 80th. At the end of February, Russian clubs were suspended from FIFA and UEFA tournaments, and now, for example, the championships of Zambia, Sudan, Tanzania and Honduras turned out to be higher than the Russian league... The Brazilian Serie A became the best league in the world according to IFFHS. The second place was taken by the English Premier League, the third - by the Spanish La Liga.

But this is far from all the troubles that have befallen Russian football. As you know, the Premier League championship will resume in early spring, and the conflict with fans over the notorious Fan ID - a personal pass that viewers must necessarily issue to attend sporting events (people wittily nicknamed him "Fan, go away!") has remained unresolved. And this directly affects the attendance of matches, which has already fallen seriously, and will fall even lower.

Moreover, this is not only a problem of sports development, but also an economic one, since the maintenance of teams and stadiums, according to experts, is a real "black hole" of regional budgets.

Instead of finding a compromise with the fans who flatly refused to issue these "Fan Passports" and preferred to boycott the RPL games, the officials decided to resort to the help of clubs so that they themselves agitated fans to issue the ill-fated passes through Public Services - that is, according to the good Russian tradition, they relieved themselves of responsibility.

The main reason for the refusal of fans is that the passport can be canceled without explanation: the law says that the reason for this may be information "about the intention to commit illegal acts," but where this information will come from and what is the degree of its reliability – this is not explained. Moreover, it will be possible to restore the canceled Fan ID only through the court. In fact, this is a violation of the presumption of innocence, because not those who canceled the passport will need to explain their decision, but for some reason - it is the fan... Well, the thesis about the introduction of Fan ID in order to ensure security at stadiums does not stand up to criticism, since fan fights in the stands are extremely rare.

Recall that the conflict between the Russian Football Union and fans began immediately after the adoption by the State Duma of the Fan-ID law, which came into force on June 1, 2022, and since July the new system has started working at RPL matches at stadiums in Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, Samara and Sochi. After the resumption of the championship in March, the arenas of all other Premier League teams will have to join these stadiums. However, representatives of fan associations of almost all domestic football clubs refuse to go to stadiums until the authorities cancel the Fan ID.

The Kremlyovsky Mamkoved channel writes about this:

"If this is the whole plan of the RFU President Dyukov to overcome the crisis, then it seems that Russian football players will continue to play with half-empty stands. (...) Back in February last year, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov announced the need for dialogue and explanatory work with the fan community. It is logical that the headliner of this process should have been the Russian Football Union, whose main goal, spelled out even on the organization's website , is the "development and popularization of football" in the country. However, judging by the fact that only now, almost a year later, communication campaign plans have been requested from the clubs, the entire dialogue with the community on the part of the RFU has so far been reduced only to comments by the president of the union Alexander Dyukov in the media and his reasoning that Fan ID is not a "passport, but a card".

Journalist Kirill Shulika is also extremely pessimistic about the situation: "As far as I know, getting a "fan leave" is even worse than one might have assumed. I know the figures for Moscow clubs, but I won't name them yet.

Although 350 thousand fan passports have been officially received, and this is taking into account players, coaches, administrative staff of RPL clubs, referees, arena workers, journalists and all kinds of invited animators, visitors to VIP lodges. That is, there are fewer potential spectators than there are seats in the arenas of the RPL teams.

That is, stadiums are not needed, you can close them, play on the bases, the TV will show everything. Although maybe soon a fan's passport will be introduced to watch matches at home..."